Queensland Native Seeds

Petalostigma pubescens

Scientific NamePetalostigma pubescens
Common Name(s)Quinine Tree, Strychnine Tree, Bitter Bark
Family Picrodendraceae


"Shrub or small tree to 10 m high." (PlantNET)


Petalostigma pubescens is a dioecious plant occurring in our region in Eucalypt woodlands on sands and gravelly soils. Occurs coastally on sands in eucalypt open forest.

The seed of this species is relevant to rehabilitation of central Queensland mines among other sites for which a reasonable quantity of seed is required. Collection of seed involves the harvesting of fruit which can be done in a number of ways. One method is similar to the way in which olives are traditionally harvested and involves using poles to knock fruit from the trees on to tarps. In years with average to above average rainfall the fruit-set on this species may be very generous and heavy harvests can be obtained. The resulting seed volumes are a great deal less and on this metric the species regarded as low to moderate yielding. Considerable drying is required to cause full dehiscence of the fruit. In cooler months this may become very difficult to impossible. The seed should be protected from rodents throughout the entire cleaning process.

Historical Notes


Widespread throughout Queensland except in the far west, approximately the northern half of the Northern Territory and in the very north of Western Australia. A more limited presence in northern NSW.

Distribution Map | Petalostigma pubescens | Queensland Native Seeds

Petalostigma pubescens | habit | Queensland Native Seeds
Petalostigma pubescens | fruit | Queensland Native Seeds
Petalostigma pubescens | seed | Queensland Native Seeds
Petalostigma pubescens | microscope | Queensland Native Seeds
Petalostigma pubescens | depiction by Sylvia Seiler, Killara, West Boondooma | Queensland Native Seeds

References and Related Links

PlantNET (The NSW Plant Information Network System). Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust, Sydney. http://plantnet.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au [Accessed: Nov 9, 2019]