Common Wilkiea, Wilkiea huegeliana

Wilkiea huegeliana is a common rainforest plant from the Monimiaceae family. It is commonly referred to by such names as Common Wilkiea, Tetra beech and Veiny Wilkiea. Although originally described by Louis René Tulasne, it was given its current official name by Alphonse Pyramus de Candolle.

W. huegeliana grows as a shrub or small tree that can reach a height of 25 feet. It has a stem diameter of 4 inches. Its trunk is crooked and irregular and is not buttressed. It has smooth, brown or grayish bark, although larger plants may have more scaly bark. The leaves of the plant measure 2 to 5 inches long and .4 to 2 inches wide. They appear opposite on the stem. They usually have toothy margins. The leaves appear round at the top and taper at the stem. The upper surface is dark and glossy, while dull and pale underneath. The stalks are .1 to .4 inches in length and appear heavily veined. It has yellowish-green and fragrant flowers that form from September to February. Its fruit matures from May to September. It has a fruiting receptacle of shiny black that measures .3 to .5 inches in diameter.

W. huegeliana is indigenous to eastern Australia. It can be found from Mount Dromedary near Narooma in southeastern New South Wales to Maryborough in southeastern Queensland. It grows best in volcanic soils.

Image Caption: Common Wilkiea (Wilkiea huegeliana). Credit: Poyt448 Peter Woodard/Wikipedia (public domain)/CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication