Melville Island White Beech

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Canarium australianum

Family : Burseraceae

This is a very stately and distinctive tree. It can grow to over 15 metres in favourable conditions and has separate male and female plants. The stiff leaves of the Canarium are dark, thick and leathery. They are distinctly hairy with yellow veins. The bark is a creamy grey and smooth.

Flowers are small and creamy white, with male plants flowering significantly denser than females. The fruit is a fleshy drupe that turns a blue-black colour when it ripens. These contain a single hard nut.

This tree likes well-drained soil and can be found in areas of stabilised dune and scrub areas. It is tolerant of harsh conditions and is a fast coloniser. It is attractive to several species of native birds such as Pied Imperial Pigeons. The Canarium has high branches so it doesn’t easily block views.


Quick Facts

Flowers September to December
Fruit April to October
Coastal Zone Hind Dune
Fauna Habitat Birds
Growth Habit Large Tree
Typical Height 15m+
Soils Needs Well Drained Soils
Amount of Sun Full Sun
Amount of Water Dry or Moderately Wet Areas
Salt Tolerance Moderately Tolerant


NQ Dry Tropics gratefully acknowledges the contribution of the Coastal Dry Tropics Landcare Group Incorporated (CTDLI) to the development of this page's information.

Related information

Melville Island White Beech © NQ Dry Tropics

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