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Scentless Rosewood

Synoum glandulosum
Scentless Rosewood

This is a shrub or small tree, which has alternate compound (pinnate) leaves with only 3-4 pairs of leaflets and a terminal one, each with smooth edges tapering to a blunt point. The leaf stalk is swollen where it meets the main stem and the whole compound leaf is less than 40 cm long. The midvein is raised on the upper surface of the leaflets and there are several small hollows on the undersurface where the lateral veins meet the midvein.

The small flowers of the Scentless Rosewood occur in clusters in the forks of the leaves and are white and pink and sweet-scented. Much more striking than the flowers are the clusters of reddish fruit, which are usually 3-lobed and 2-3 cm across.

The fruit ripens from September to January, sometimes later. When-ripe, the capsule splits open and, in each lobe, there are 2 shiny, brown seeds, one on each side of a fleshy orange expansion of the seed stalk (an aril). Seed removed from the aril and planted when fresh will usually germinate in 1-4weeks but will not germinate after even short storage.

As well as being part of the remnant vegetation, this is an attractive small tree for the garden, providing food for native birds.

Distribution: Bega (NSW) to Bundaberg (Qld).