Monday, December 19, 2005

Revisions of the Canthium genus (Family RUBIACEAE) in Queensland

In 1997 the Canthium genus in Queensland consisted of 13 named and 21 unnamed species.
As a result of further studies and revisions the following changes have occurred.

Canthium has been separated into these genera primarily on the basis of differences in flower characteristics.

Canthium from Canti, a Malay word for a tree in Malacca which was the first species of the genus described.
Everistia after Dr Selwyn L. Everist, a former Director of the Queensland Herbarium (1954-1976).
Cyclophyllum from the Greek cyclos meaning circle and phyllon meaning a leaf. Reference uncertain.

Some genera characteristics
Everistia Intricately branching branches (often tangled), branchlets often spiny; leaf veins absent or obscure; delicate 1-3 flowered cymes of 4-5 merous flowers; stigma deeply 2-lobed.
Cyclophyllum 1-12 flowered cymes of usually 5-merous, fleshy flowers; corolla tube long with hairs protruding from its throat; style shortly exceeding corolla tube; stigma densely clustered.
Canthium Flowers usually in branched pedunculate cymes; stigma oblongoid; style usually much exceeding corolla tube.

Species recorded in the Port Curtis Pastoral District
Name before Name now
Canthium attenuatum No change
Canthium coprosmoides Cyclophyllum coprosmoides var coprosmoides var spathulatum
Canthium lamprophyllum No change
Canthium microphyllum Everistia vacciniifolia var nervosa
Canthium odoratum No change
Canthium oleifolium No change
Canthium species (Berrigurra Station No change
E.R.Anderson 2829)
Canthium species (Larcom Gully N.Gibson) No change
Canthium vacciniifolium Everistia vacciniifolia forma vacciniifolia

Some Uses
Cyclophyllum coprosmoides The fruit is edible.
Canthium attenuatum & Canthium oleifolium Foliage regarded as good stock fodder.
Canthium odoratum The aborigines ate the ripe fruit after preparation
Recorded Wildlife Connections
Fruit and/or seed eaters
southern cassowary (Cyclophyllum)
superb fruit-dove (Cyclophyllum)
red-tailed black-cockatoo (Cyclophyllum)
moth larvae of Alucita pygmaea (C. oleifolium)

Leaf/foliage feeders
moth larvae of Balantiucha decorata (Cyclophyllum species)
Leucoptera species (Canthium species)
Lobogethes interrupts (C. oleifolium)
Macroglossum hirundo ssp errans (C. odoratum)
the bee-hawk moths, Cephonodes hylas ssp cunninghami & Cephonodes kingii (C odoratum)

Stem eaters
Moth larvae of Dudgeonea actinias (C. Attenuatum)
The swollen hollow stems of Canthium odoratum are often inhabited by ants.
Joel Plumb

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