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Acronychia laevis

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Template:Use dmy dates Template:Use Australian English Template:Italic title Template:Taxobox

Acronychia laevis is a rainforest plant in the citrus family, growing in eastern Australia. The common name is the hard aspen. The habitat is dry rainforest, up to 700 metres above sea level. It grows from the upper Clarence River, New South Wales to Cape York Peninsula at the northernmost tip of Australia. It is also found on New Caledonia and Lord Howe Island.<ref name=EJ>Template:Cite book</ref> The true aspens of the Northern Hemisphere belong to the genus Populus in the family Salicaceae.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref>

Contents

Taxonomy

Acronychia laevis was first described by German naturalists Johann Reinhold Forster and Georg Forster in 1775.<ref name=apni>Template:APNI</ref> The specific epithet laevis is the Latin adjective "smooth", and refers to the new shoots and leaves.<ref name=floyd/> It is a member of the Rutaceae family.<ref name=apni/>

Description

It grows as a bush or small tree up to 6 metres in height. It features attractive leaves, flowers, and pink fruit. The cylindrical trunk has fawn, fairly smooth bark. With some vertical lines and wrinkles. Small branches show leaf scars. Leaves are opposite on the stem, with only one leaflet. Leaf edges without serrations. Round, ovate, or obovate. Often blunt or rounded at the tip. 2.5 to 9.5 cm long, 1 to 5 cm wide.<ref name=plantnet>Template:Cite web</ref> Shiny on both sides. Oil dots may be seen under a lens with a bright light. The white or cream flowers appear on cymes from November to February. (Or as late as July). The fruit is a dark pink drupe, 6 to 8 mm wide.<ref name=floyd>Floyd, A.G., Rainforest Trees of Mainland South-eastern Australia, Inkata Press 2008, ISBN 978-0-9589436-7-3 page 345</ref> Inside are reddish brown seeds, 4 mm long. Fruit matures from June to October. Germination is likely if the seeds are liberated from the pink fruit, then soaked.

Ecology

The fruit is eaten by the green catbird.<ref name=floyd/>

Cultivation

Acronychia laevis can be grown in a sunny or part-shaded position in a garden. Its attractive fruit and flowers have horticultural appeal. It can be propagated from seed,<ref name=EJ/> although cuttings may also be attempted. The fruit is edible to humans, although described as too pungent to be palatable,<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> and have even been likened to turpentine.<ref>Template:Cite web Template:Dead link</ref>

References

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