Alectryon tomentosus

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Alectryon tomentosusFamily: Sapindaceae
Genus: Alectryon
Common names: Hairy alectryon
ALA reference

There are a number of these small to medium sized trees growing in the reserve. They have recently produced a flush of bronze-red new growth accompanied by masses of tiny flowers. These plants are quite easy to recognize as the leaves are covered in soft brownish hairs and the leaflets, which can number from 4 to 8 (typically 8), are much smaller at the lower end. Note the absence of any petals on the flowers. The flowers seemed to be very attractive to small black honey ants that were busily collecting nectar. I’m not sure whether the ants play a role in the pollination of the flowers. The fruit is a one to three lobed hairy capsule containing up to 3 black seeds which are enclosed in a fleshy red aril. The red aril is edible.

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