PNGTreesKey – Heritiera littoralis Aiton


Barry Conn (NSW) & Kipiro Damas (LAE).
Guide to trees of Papua New Guinea
Copyright held by the authors, National Herbarium of New South Wales, and Papua New Guinea National Herbarium

Heritiera littoralis Aiton

Hortus Kewensis Vol. 3: 546 (1789)

Family: Malvaceae

Timber Group: Commercial hardwood

Field Characters: Small sub-canopy tree or Large canopy tree (up to 30 m high); Bole cylindrical (up to c. 40 cm diam.); crooked (and leaning) or straight (bole 5-15 m long or trunk branching from near base); buttresses buttresses present (buttresses up to c. 1 m high); spines spines absent; aerial roots aerial roots absent; stilt roots stilt roots absent; Bark grey or brown, rough or smooth, fissured; Subrhytidome (under-bark) green or pale brown; less than 25 mm thick, 9.0-20.0; bark blaze consisting of one layer; faintly to non-aromatic; outer blaze yellow (pale (straw-coloured), pale brown, or pink, with stripes (cream-coloured), fibrous; inner blaze white (often (next to sapwood), pink, or pale brown, with stripes (cream-coloured), fibrous; bark exudate (sap) absent; terminal buds not enclosed by leaves.

Indumentum: Complex hairs present (dense), disk-shaped (peltate) (silvery, grey-green scales); stinging hairs absent; mature twig indumentum (hairs) present (scales), hairs dense.

Leaves: Leaves spaced along branches, spiral (leaves occurring singly at a node and arranged spirally up the branchlet), simple (a leaf composed of a single blade); petiole present, not winged, attached to base of leaf blade, not swollen; leaves broadest at or near middle, (12.0-) 14.0-20.0 cm, 6.0-14.0 cm; symmetric (to very slightly asymmetric), entire, not dissected or lobed, obtuse, venation pinnate, secondary veins open, prominent, intramarginal veins absent; leaves lower surface grey, pale green, or white (greenish (dull), upper surface green or dark green (glossy (to subglossy), indumentum (hairs) present (scales), indumentum (hairs) dense (on lower surface); absent; domatia absent; stipules absent.

Flowers: Inflorescence terminal, flowers on a branched axis, cones absent; flowers bisexual, stalked, flowers with many planes of symmetry, 4.0-6.0 mm long, diameter small (up to10 mm diam.) (c. 5 mm diam.); perianth present, with all sepals and/or petals (hence tepals) similar, inner perianth greenish white; 5, some or partly joined (deeply lobed); stamens 20 (c.), present, joined (forming a staminal tube), free of the perianth; ovary superior, carpels separate (when more than one), locules 5; styles free, 5.

Fruits: Infrutescence arranged on branched axis, fruit 50.0-80.0 mm long, 30.0-(per carpel)-50.0 mm diam., brown, not spiny, non-fleshy (woody), aggregate, dehiscent, follicle; seeds 1-2, about 10 mm long, not winged (although each fruiting carpel ridged to slightly winged, with ridge/wing up to 10 mm long), broad (as wide as long), seed 1-10 mm diam.

Distribution: Madang, Morobe, Western, Gulf, Central, Northern, Milne Bay, Papuan Islands, New Britain, New Ireland, Manus & Bougainville.

Heritiera littoralis
Botanical records
in PNGplants database

Map details


Notes: Notes The genus Heritiera was previously classified in the family Sterculiaceae.