Neolitsea dealbata (Lauraceae)

Neolitsea dealbata DSC_0715 (5)

The long list of common names (Black Ash, Grey Bollywood, Hairy Leaved Bollygum, Native Mulberry, Pigeon-berry Tree, Velvet-leaf Bollywood, White Bollygum, White Bollywood) must be a reflection of how common this species is. There is hardly a roadside edge in the tropics, especially mid-altitudes and above, where one does not encounter this small tree or shrub. Indeed, this species is quite clearly associated with disturbed areas in rainforest, although it is one of those interesting successional species that appears to tolerate very shaded environments as well.

The species grows up to 12 metres high. The glossy, elliptic to obovate leaves have whitish undersides – a result of a waxy covering. Other Lauraceae do this too, but this species and the related Neolitsea brassii is instantly distinguished from other genera by their leaves appearing in whorls along the stem.

The often dull-purplish younger leaves and branchlets are covered with brown hairs. The flowers are in tight clusters, and give rise to attractive small berry-like fruits which ripen black.

Neolitsea dealbata DSC_0715 (1)
The whitish leaf undersides are a result of a waxy covering that can rub off.

Neolitsea dealbata DSC_0673 (3)
The flowers occur in tight clusters


About David Tng

I am David Tng, a hedonistic botanizer who pursues plants with a fervour. I chase the opportunity to delve into various aspects of the study of plants. I have spent untold hours staring at mosses and allied plants, taking picture of pollen, culturing orchids in clean cabinets, counting tree rings, monitoring plant flowering times, etc. I am currently engrossed in the study of plant ecology (a grand excuse to see 'anything I can). Sometimes I think of myself as a shadow taxonomist, a sentimental ecologist, and a spiritual environmentalist - but at the very root of it all, a "plant whisperer"!
This entry was posted in Habitat - Eucalypt Forest, Habitat - Rain forest, Lauraceae (Laurel family) and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Neolitsea dealbata (Lauraceae)

  1. Paula Peeters says:

    Thanks David – great pics. Someone also pointed out to me that the new leaves sort of droop like doe’s ears, and are the same shape.

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