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Brush Muttonwood

Rapanea howittiana
Myrsinaceae
Brush Muttonwood
Common

This is an attractive, small to medium tree, up to 15 m high. The alternate leaves (5-10 cm long) are dark, shiny-green on the upper surface and the tip is blunt or rounded. The midvein is raised on both surfaces. The leaf buds and very young leaves are covered with rusty brown hairs.

The leaf margins are smooth in adult foliage or have a few, very small teeth near the tip. Juvenile leaves have more serrations.

The flowers are often missed because they are small, yellowish-green, and occur in clusters on the older, leafless stems behind the leaves. They may appear either in winter or in summer.

The purple fruits are small (5 mm), round, contain a single seed and ripen from summer to winter. The fruit is eaten by native birds. Quite a lot of self-seeded plants come up in and around rainforest patches. The plant should germinate from fresh seed in 1-3 months and can probably be struck from cuttings.

Distribution: Wilson's Promontory (Vic) to Noosa (Sth Qld).