Osmoxylon pfeilii

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Osmoxylon pfeilii


A tree developing a crown when mature, up to 16 m, glabrous when mature, young parts slightly setulose. Leaves in terminal clusters; Inflorescence a terminal compound umbel, hemispherical, to 20 cm ø; Fruit spherical, fleshy, c. 8 mm ø, ribbed when dry, the stigmatic boss persistent and prominent;


Asia-Tropical: Bismarck Archipelago (Bismarck Archipelago present), Duke of York Group present, New Britain present, New Ireland present
Malesia: Bismarck Archipelago (New Britain, Duke of York Group and New Ireland).


The bark is grey-brown and pustular, the wood straw-coloured and soft. The flowers are orange, and the ripe fruit dark red-violet.
In the original description the ovary is recorded to possess 10-14 cells. However, some other specimens have as few as 5 cells in the ovary, but in other respects agree with specimens with the large number of seeds. Since the inflorescence, leaf-shape, and especially the nature of the petiolar crests, as well as the distribution, are all highly distinctive within the genus, all the specimens can be accepted as examples of one species with a highly variable number of carpels.
This species is very close to 20. O. barbatum of the Key Islands. The original diagnostic character of the number of cells in the ovary has been found to be unreliable. However, since the primary rays in the inflorescence are more numerous and the pedicels of the fertile and sterile flowers are shorter this geographically distinct species is maintained.