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Tree to 40 m, with thin buttresses spreading to 6 m across. Branchlets slender and pubescent when young. Leaf buds not or rarely resinous. Leaves evergreen to deciduous; often, all the leaves on a single branch turn red, then fall at once. Leaves simple, scattered or grouped at stem apices, 8–19 × 1–4 cm, thin and papery when dry, elliptic to oblong with base narrowing into petiole, both surfaces glabrous or with some fine hairs, major veins prominent beneath, 6–14 secondary veins on each side of the midvein, margins finely serrulate, apex acute; petiole 0.5–2 cm long, slightly winged, pubescent. Inflorescences axillary, ramiflorous; racemes 6–10 cm long, bearing 12–26 flowers. Flowers hermaphrodite, 5-merous, to 1.5 cm long; petals divided into numerous segments. Fruit a globose, bright blue or purplish drupe, 1.5–2 cm diameter; endocarp sculptured, containing two to five seeds. Flowering March to May, fruiting all year round (Australia). Coode 1984, Harden 2000b. Distribution AUSTRALIA: New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland; INDIA; INDONESIA: Western New Guinea; NEW CALEDONIA; PAPUA NEW GUINEA; PHILIPPINES; SOLOMON ISLANDS; VANUATU. This species has been introduced to Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Hawaii. Habitat Riverine and periodically inundated forest between 0 and 80 m asl. USDA Hardiness Zone 9–10. Conservation status Not evaluated.
Elaeocarpus angustifolius is largely a tree of tropical rain forests, but some southern Australian accessions are being cultivated in temperate areas, often under the synonym E. grandis. It is popular as a garden tree in Australia, where it is valued for its evergreen foliage, turning scarlet as it senesces, and abundant marble-sized blue fruits. It is in cultivation at the San Francisco Botanical Garden, but mature specimens have not been located elsewhere in our area. At Cistus Nursery seedlings are being tested for hardiness and evaluated for leaf-colour qualities (S. Hogan, pers. comm. 2007).