Maclura cochinchinensis

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Maclura cochinchinensisFamily: Moraceae
Genus: Maclura
Common name: Cockspur thorn
ALA reference

The cockspur thorn is a rampant scrambler with plenty of sharp thorns on the ascending canes and is common across the Reserve. The plants are dioecious and you may recall that initially I had some difficulty finding any female plants. One of our larger hoop pines supports one (or possibly several) very large cockspur thorns. An area of about 20 square metres around this tree is now covered by thousands, possibly hundreds of thousands, of seedlings. Obviously a female plant here has fruited profusely. (February 2011)

The plants are dioecious with separate male and female plants. When they flowered in September I hunted high and low for a female plant but all I could find turned out to be males. The photo below shows the globular yellow male flowers which have opened with small cracks for pollinators to access the pollen. I am not sure what the female flowers look like but think they are superficially very similar. Now that the fruit have ripened I have finally found a female plant. The fleshy globular orange fruit are edible. (December 2007)

Maclura cochinchinensis

The cockspur thorn is a rampant scrambler with plenty of sharp thorns on the ascending canes. It forms thick masses in supporting trees but where there is no tree support it forms straggling bushes. Some large specimens can be found beside Cliveden Avenue just below Fort Road. It has yellow flowers in summer followed by orange globular fleshy fruit. The fruit is edible and the plant provides a useful habitat for small birds. (January 2007)

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