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Alphitonia petriei facts for kids

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Alphitonia petriei
Alphitonia petriei Coffs.jpg
Scientific classification
Genus:
Alphitonia
Species:
petriei

Alphitonia petriei, known as the white ash, is a rainforest tree in the family Rhamnaceae. It grows in eastern and northern Australia. Other common names include red ash, white-leaf, pink almond and pink ash. It was originally collected from the Johnston River near Kuranda, and named in 1925 by K.W. Braid. The authors gave it the species name petriei after W.R. Petrie, who alerted them to its distinctness.

Alphitonia petriei is usually found as a small tree around 20 metres (66 feet) tall. However, it has been recorded at 40 metres (130 feet) tall with a stem diameter of 60 cm in Queensland. The trunk and larger branches bear fissured grey bark (darker brown in Queensland), and peeling or bruising of it gives off a strong scent of liniment, which has been likened to oil of wintergreen methyl salicylate. Arranged alternately on the smaller branches, simple narrow leaves measure 7–15 cm (3–6 in) in length and are dark glossy green above and covered with fine white hairs underneath. The tiny (0.5 cm diameter) creamy flowers have five petals and are found in panicles at the end of branchlets or between leaves. Flowering occurs in September to November, followed by the production of globular dark fruit around 1 to 1.5 cm diameter from February to July.

It is found in coastal rainforest, and in ecotone areas in eucalyptus forest from Darwin and Thursday Island in northern Australia south along the eastern coastline to the Upper Orara River in New South Wales. The leaves and shoots are eaten by farm animals.

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