PNGTreesKey – Nauclea orientalis L.


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

Nauclea orientalis L.

Species Plantarum, edition 2 243 (1762)

Family: Rubiaceae

Timber Group: Commercial hardwood

Field Characters: Small sub-canopy tree (up to c. 20 m high); Bole cylindrical; slightly crooked or straight; buttresses buttresses absent; spines spines absent; aerial roots aerial roots absent; stilt roots stilt roots absent; Bark pale grey, slightly rough, tessellated or slightly furrowed cork; less than 25 mm thick.

Indumentum: Complex hairs absent; stinging hairs absent; mature twig indumentum (hairs) present or absent, hairs sparse to dense.

Leaves: Leaves spaced along branches, opposite (in pairs, opposite one another on 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 to broadest below middle, 12.0-21.0 cm, 7.0-15.0 cm; symmetric, entire, not dissected or lobed, obtuse or sub acute, venation pinnate, secondary veins open, prominent, intramarginal veins absent; leaves lower surface pale green or green, upper surface dark green, indumentum (hairs) absent or present (on lower surface), indumentum (hairs) sparse; absent; domatia absent; stipules present, free, laterally placed, not encircling the twig, leafy, not fringed, large, not persistent.

Flowers: Inflorescence terminal (on short branchlets), flowers arising from a single point (flowers arranged in globular clusters 20-60 mm diam.), cones absent; flowers bisexual, not stalked, flowers with many planes of symmetry, 8.0-11.0 mm long, diameter small (up to10 mm diam.) (3-5 mm diam.); perianth present, with distinct sepals and petals whorls, inner perianth orange (sweetly aromatic) or yellow; 5, some or partly joined (forming a long corolla tube and 5 lobes); stamens 5, present (short), free of each other, joined to the perianth; ovary inferior, carpels joined (when more than one), locules 2; styles solitary, 1.

Fruits: Infrutescence arising from single point, fruit 20.0-40.0 mm long, 20.0-40.0 mm diam., brown (strongly aromatic), not spiny, fleshy, multiple (fruits joined by their calyces into an indehiscent fleshy syncarp), indehiscent, drupe; seeds 1 (per fruitlet; many per fruiting head), to about 5 mm long, not winged, broad (as wide as long) (slightly compressed), seed 1-10 mm diam.

Distribution: West Sepik, East Sepik, Madang, Morobe, Western, Gulf, Central, Milne Bay, Papuan Islands, New Britain & Bougainville.

Nauclea orientalis
Botanical records
in PNGplants database

Map details


Notes: Notes Previously known as Sarcocephalus orientalis (L.) Merr., Nauclea coadunata Roxb. ex Sm., Sarcocephalus coadunatus (Roxb. ex Sm.) Druce, and Sarcocephalus cordatus Miq.