Daphnandra sp. C Illawarra (Illawarra Socketwood) Recovery Plan

Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW), 2005
ISBN: 1 7412 2144 7

4 Taxonomy and Description

4.1 Taxonomy

Class: Magnoliopsida
Sub-class: Magnoliidae
Family: Monimiaceae s. lat
Genus: Daphnandra
Species: sp. C
Author: Harden (1990)

Daphnandra sp. C Illawarra (R. Schodde 3475) is synonymous with Daphnandra sp. C sensu Harden  (1990). The species was previously included in Daphnandra micrantha (Tul.) Benth s. lat prior to a revision of the genus that recognised three new species; Daphnandra sp. A, Daphnandra sp. C, and Daphnandra sp. D (Harden 1990). Foreman and Whiffin (MS) propose the name Daphnandra johnsonii for D. sp. C Illawarra.

The Monimiaceae s. lat contains 30 to 35 genera (450 spp.), most of which are confined to tropical and temperate regions of the Southern Hemisphere (Harden 1990). In Australia, 11 genera and 25 species are present in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania (Harden 1990). Monimiaceae is divided into smaller families by some authors. Monimiaceae s. str contains only three genera (Palmeria, Hedycarya and Wilkiea) with Daphnandra, Antherosperma and Doryphora are placed in a separate family, Atherospermataceae (Harden 1990).

4.2 Description

D. sp. C Illawarra is a medium sized rainforest tree that grows to 20 metres and is capable of prolific suckering. Leaves are opposite, coarsely toothed, elliptic to ovate, 6 to 12 cm long, 1.5 to 6 cm wide with a raised mid-vein on the upper surface. Leaf margins are deeply, rather distantly and coarsely toothed (except for the basal half or third) with petioles 3 to 7 mm long. Inflorescence is a many- flowered panicle borne from the base of leaves. Pedicels are 3 to 6 mm long. Perianth is 2.5 to 3.5 mm long, pale greenish white, sometimes tinged pink. Fruiting receptacle is brown, more or less ellipsoid, mostly 5 to 7 mm long, glabrous or covered in fine brown hairs. Fruit are achenes, more or less ellipsoid in shape and uniformly silky hirsute (A. Bofeldt, Wollongong Botanic Gardens, pers. comm.; Foreman & Whiffin MS; Fuller & Mills 1985; Harden 1990).

4.3 Distinguishing features

D. sp. C Illawarra is sometimes confused with Doryphora sassafras (Sassafras), a rainforest tree with similar habitat preferences. The two species can be readily differentiated however by the mid- vein on the upper surface of the leaf, which is raised for D. sp. C Illawarra. Also, the inflorescence of D. sp. C Illawarra consists of a many-flowered panicle while that of Sassafras is a three flowered cluster on a short stalk (Harden 1990).

Floyd (1978) describes some other useful diagnostic features of the Daphnandra genus including:

  • Prominent leaf scars on stems;
  • Conspicuously flattened branchlet nodes; and
  • Ball and socket joints (from which the Socketwood common name is derived) on the main stem where larger branchlets have broken away.