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Leopard Ash

Flindersia collina


Flindersia collina is an Australian rainforest tree in the citrus family Rutaceae. Also known as "leopard wood" and "broad-leaved leopard tree", it occurs in dry rainforest, often on hillsides, and the species name collina actually means "hill dweller". It can grow to a tall tree of up to 40 metres in height, and a trunk diameter of 60 cm, although some sources say maximum height is only 15-25 metres. There are also numerous oil dots on the bark (need a decent macro lens), and I've read that the seeds are also rich in oil. Being a member of the citrus family, I'm wondering if the oil has a citrus scent? Perhaps the bark, flowers and leaves are scented as well? The mottled bark of this species is amazing, and this spotting really stood out for me as I was walking along the track. Amongst the shadows and dense foliage, it was almost glowing in the late-afternoon light.


Native range is from the upper Richmond River in northern New South Wales to Cape Melville in tropical far north Queensland. Being a hill dweller and liking dry rainforest, Sydney provides an ideal habitat. This spotting was in the Cumberland State Forest, in Sydney's northwest.


Leopard ash produces a "woody starfish" capsule that's typical of the various Flindersia species, only it's smaller and more delicate-looking than that of its well-known cousin, "crow’s ash" - Flindersia australis: Here's my spotting of crow's ash for comparison: Crow's ash is the only other species of the Flindersia that I have seen, but Flindersia is a genus of 17 species of trees in the family Rutaceae. They grow naturally in the Moluccas, New Guinea, Australia (New South Wales and Queensland) and New Caledonia.

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Neil Ross
Spotted by
Neil Ross

Sydney, NSW, Australia

Spotted on Mar 27, 2019
Submitted on Apr 19, 2019

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