Cryptocarya R.Br.

Prodr.Fl.Nov.Holland. 402 (1810)
Name Status

Scientific Description

Family Lauraceae.

Habit and leaf form. Trees, or shrubs; evergreen; bearing essential oils, or without essential oils; leptocaul. Mesophytic. Leaves alternate; spiral; leathery; petiolate; non-sheathing; gland-dotted; aromatic; simple. Leaf blades entire; pinnately veined; cross-venulate. Leaves without stipules; without a persistent basal meristem. Stem anatomy. Nodes unilacunar (with two traces). Secondary thickening developing from a conventional cambial ring.

Reproductive type, pollination. Fertile flowers hermaphrodite. Unisexual flowers absent. Plants hermaphrodite.

Inflorescence and flower features. Flowers aggregated in ‘inflorescences’; in cymes. Inflorescences compound (the cymes arranged in axillary racemes or panicles or pseudo-terminal panicles). The terminal inflorescence unit racemose, or cymose. Inflorescences axillary; with involucral bracts, or without involucral bracts. Flowers pedicellate, or sessile; small; fragrant, or malodorous, or odourless; regular; 3 merous; cyclic. Free hypanthium present. Hypogynous disk present, or absent. Perianth of ‘tepals’, or sepaline (relatively undifferentiated); 6; 2 -whorled; isomerous (3+3); joined (connate towards the base into a conical or ovoid tube); green, or white, or cream; fleshy, or non-fleshy; persistent, or deciduous; accrescent, or non-accrescent. Calyx 6. Androecium 12. Androecial members free of the perianth (on the hypanthium); all equal, or markedly unequal; free of one another; 4 -whorled. Androecium including staminodes (the innermost members staminodal). Staminodes 3. Stamens 9. Filaments appendiculate (the innermost whorl of fertile stamens with glands at the base). Anthers basifixed; non-versatile; dehiscing by longitudinal valves (opening from base to apex); introrse and extrorse (with the latter state confined to the third whorl); bilocular. Gynoecium 1 carpelled (ostensibly), or 3 carpelled (theoretically). The pistil 1 celled. Gynoecium ostensibly monomerous; of one carpel (or at least, ostensibly so); superior. Carpel stylate; apically stigmatic; 1 ovuled. Placentation apical. Ovary more or less sessile. Stigmas dry type; papillate; Group II type. Ovules pendulous; non-arillate; anatropous.

Fruit and seed features. Fruit fleshy. The fruiting carpel indehiscent; baccate. Fruit enclosed in the fleshy hypanthium (giving the appearance of an inferior fruit); 1 seeded. Seeds non-endospermic. Embryo well differentiated; straight. Seedling. Germination phanerocotylar, or cryptocotylar.

Physiology, biochemistry. Aluminium accumulation demonstrated.

Geography, cytology, number of species. Native of Australia. Not endemic to Australia. Australian states and territories: Western Australia, Northern Territory, and Queensland.

H.R. Coleman, 8 September 2016

Taxonomic Literature

  • Wheeler, J. R.; Rye, B. L.; Koch, B. L.; Wilson, A. J. G.; Western Australian Herbarium (1992). Flora of the Kimberley region. Western Australian Herbarium. Como, W.A.