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Botany Photo of the Day
In science, beauty. In beauty, science. Daily.

Halfordia kendack

Halfordia kendack
Halfordia kendack

Bryant is the author of today's entry. He writes:

Thank you to dustaway@Flickr for today's photographs (photo 1 | photo 2) of Halfordia kendack (ghittoe), a member of the Rutaceae. This tree is native to eastern Australia and Papua New Guinea, usually growing at altitudes between 0-450 meters (0-1500 feet). Halfordia kendack can sometimes exceed 30 meters (100 feet) high at maturity. Ecologically, trees have been observed as forming part of the subcanopy and canopy layers in forests.

The leaves often form in an alternate spiral arrangement up each branch, ending in a terminal inflorescence consisting of a number of bisexual flowers. Each flower measures around 1cm (.5 in) in diameter, and has 10 stamens and a green superior ovary. The fruits can reach about 1cm in diameter as well, and are dark purple (turning slighty reddish when ripened). The wood of Halfordia kendack is highly flammable, earning it another common name--kerosene wood. It is apparently easy to chip the wood and light it with a match to start a fire, even when wet. Although I could not find any definitive evidence of its edibility for humans, its berries are common forage for a number of avian species and the leaves are popular among caterpillars of the fuscous swallowtail.

4 Comments

James Singer commented:

Such great postings. Thank you.

Wendy Cutler commented:

Beautiful. This plant must have the world's cutest stamens.

Interesting write-up; I enjoyed the fruits link as well.

mona commented:

A beautiful photo and interesting notes. I enjoy this site very much. thank you

elizabeth a airhart commented:

liveing in florida land of oranges and etc the flowers
look like the trees abloom in my area

thank you as always daniel and company bon jour

Comments are closed.

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