Plant Description  

Cheese Tree

Small densely growing tree to 10m, usually on margins of rainforest and along most, scrubby watercourses. Common. Although recorded as far inland as Toowoomba, and the upper Hastings River, NSW, the species is coastal from Illawarra, NSW to north-west Australia.

Leaves are simple, alternate, two-ranked. The blade is soft and thin, green and glossy above, paler below and sometimes softly hairy. The leaves are elliptical to oblong-elliptical, sometimes slightly unequal-sided at the base, 4-9 cm long.

Flowers greenish/yellow in clusters from the leaf axils. Separate male and female flowers on same plant. Flowering from October to November.

Fruit a capsule, green to red, roundish, ribbed, 10-15 mm in diameter. Seeds, 4-6 flat. Ripe November to February. The fruit resemble miniature pumpkins or miniature Edam cheeses.

Use and Preparation

Not edible.

Can be propagated from either seeds or cuttings which strike easily.Glochidion ferdinandi is a host plant for Arhopala micale and Candalides helenita butterflies. The Coscinocera hercules or Hercules or Atlas Moth of north Queensland feeds on this tree.

Horticultural Merit and uses: Used in revegetation programs as a pioneer planting, useful small tree for gardens with a dense shady canopy or for providing a screen. May sucker if root zone is disturbed. Tolerates a wide range of soils as longas there is adequate moisture for growth. Quite hardy once established.


Nutritional value

Fauna Value: Fruits are eaten by several bird species, including the, Lewin’s Honeyeater, Olive-backed Oriole, rainforest pigeons and doves, and parrots. Food source for butterfly larvae of the Shining Pencil-blue, and the Common Oak-blue