Barringtonia calyptrata (Miers) R.Br. ex Benth., Queensland Agric. J. 18: 125 (1907)
Species name meaning 'hooded or covered', referring to the flower buds.
Barringtonia flava Lauterb.
Butonica calyptrata Miers
Huttum calyptratum (Miers) Britten
Michelia calyptrata (Miers) Kuntze
Growing in coastal areas, including beach, tidal riversides and mangroves. Relatively small tree, with
wood smelling of corned-beef. White flowers in racemes. Fruits fleshy and turning blueish, smelling
of mango when ripe.
Small tree up to ca. 10(-30) m tall, sometimes buttressed. Bark surface on larger trees somewhat
scalloped. Both inner and outer blazes very fibrous. The wood has a peculiar, corned-beef smell.
Twig bark rather strong and fibrous when stripped. The glossy leaves tend to be whorled at the ends
of the branches, leaf blade often rather large, about 15-39 x 5-13 cm. Midrib of the leaf also rather
strong and fibrous. Lateral veins curving and forming inconspicuous loops inside the blade margin.
Old leaves turn red prior to falling. The fragrant white flowers are in long pendulous spikes and
appear just prior to the new growth flush. Flowers +/- sessile. Calyx completely fused at the bud
stage, shed as a cap or rupturing to form lobes. Petals about 1-3 cm long, white. Stamens numerous,
long white. Fruits more or less fleshy when ripe, ovoid or spindle-shaped, about 5-9.5 x 4-6.5 cm,
turning blueish and smelling of mango when ripe.
A mangrove, or coastal species. Grows in well developed lowland rain forest and beach forest up to
ca. 200 m elevation. Fruits eaten by Cassowaries.
Ornamental. This species has been used as a fish poison. Produces a useful general purpose timber.
Also used medicinally against chest pain and fever.
New Guinea, Aru Islands and Australia.
English: China pine, Corned-beef wood, Mango pine, Cassowari pine.