Choricarpia leptopetala

Distribution Map
Family: Myrtaceae
Distribution: Rainforest margins and open forest, often near watercourses, from central eastern New South Wales to eastern Queensland.
Common Name: Brown myrtle.
Derivation of Name: Choricarpia; From Greek chorizo, to divide or set apart and carpos, a fruit, referring to the fruits not being united as in the closely related genus Syncarpia.
leptopetala; From Greek leptos, thin or narrow and petalum, a petal, referring to the lack of petals.
Conservation Status: Not considered to be at risk in the wild.

General Description:

Choricarpia is a small genus of 2 species, both occurring in eastern Australia. Choricarpia leptopetala is a small tree or tall shrub with flaky bark and reaching 5 to 12 metres high. The leaves are opposite, oval to elliptical in shape, tapering to a point and are up to 150 mm long by 55 mm wide. The undersides of the leaves have short greyish or rusty coloured hairs and the young shoots also have short, rusty hairs. The flowers are very small but clustered into globular shaped heads about 15 - 20 mm in diameter. The stamens of the flowers are very prominent. Flower colour is cream to white aging to brown and flowers are usually seen in winter and spring. The brown seed capsules are decorative and remain on the plant for some time.

Choricarpia leptopetala
Choricarpia leptopetala
Photo: Christine Ashe

Choricarpia leptopetala is not often seen in cultivation but has proven to be a hardy and adaptable plant for most reasonably drained soils in a sunny or semi-shaded location. It is tolerant of at least moderate frost.

Propagation is relatively easy from seed which does not require any special pre-treatment. Cuttings are also successful but may be slow to strike.


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