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Dysoxylum pettigrewianum facts for kids

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Spurwood
Dysoxylum pettigrewianum.jpg
Daintree National Park, Australia
Scientific classification
Genus:
Dysoxylum
Species:
pettigrewianum

Dysoxylum pettigrewianum, commonly known as the spurwood, is a species of large tropical rainforest tree in the family Meliaceae. Found in Queensland, New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Malesia. In Queensland it is found in the wet tropics from Rossville near Cooktown in the north, southwards to Tully.

The species was first described in 1892 by the colonial botanist of Queensland Frederick Manson Bailey. Common names include spurwood, Cairns satinwood and spur mahogany. The species name honours William Pettigrew. It is a member of the large tropical genus Dysoxylum, many of which are large rainforest trees.

Known for the prominent protrusions on the trunk buttresses, it may reach in excess of 35 metres (100 ft) tall, with a spreading canopy up to 15 m (50 ft). The warty bark is dark brown, and the red/brown timber has a pleasant fragrance. The compound leaves have between 7 and 15 overlapping leaflets. The tree can be deciduous in winter dry spells. Appearing in January, the small yellow flowers are bell-shaped and have a diameter of around 1.2 cm (0.5 in). These are followed by the pear-shaped fruit which contain four seeds and ripen in November. The orange/brown warty fruits are eaten by cassowaries and metallic starlings, and the leaves eaten by Lumholtz's tree-kangaroo.

Dysoxylum pettigrewianum grows in lowland rainforest up to an altitude of 800 m (2500 ft). Growing too large for the average garden, Dysoxylum pettigrewianum is suitable for planting in parks and public gardens, making a useful shade tree. Young plants need shelter, and the species does best in a well-drained acidic soil.

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