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Brown Beech

Pennantia cunninghamii
Brown Beech

This small to medium tree can be recognized by its large leaves (up to 15 cm x 10 cm), shiny-green on the upper surface with wavy edges. The leaves are alternate and the branchlets strongly zig-zag.

Another distinguishing feature is that, on the upperside of the leaves, there are small bumps in the forks of the lateral veins which, on the underside, are seen to be small hollows (called domatia).

Dense clusters of small, white flowers are seen in summer. The egg-shaped fruit is black and shiny, about 1 cm long, with a single seed. The fruit usually ripens in midsummer but may also be found at other times of the year.

Brown Beech can be grown from cleaned fresh seed, which will germinate in about 3 weeks.

Quite a few young Brown Beech can be seen in the Robertson Nature Reserve and other rainforest patches but large, old trees are not so common.

Distribution: Clyde Mountain (NSW) to Atherton (Nth Q1d).