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Seashore and Beach Plants

Pouteria obovata coppery tree   Sapotaceae

 

coppery tree, Pouteria obovata

 

Pouteria obovata

coppery tree, Pouteria obovata

Small to medium-sized tree, to about 18m tall. The bark is ridged and fissured but not flaky, with low, sharp spreading buttresses. Crown is conical and appears coppery. This is because the twigs, buds, leaf stalks and undersides of the young leaves are rusty brown and scrufy. Leaves (15-25cm) upward pointing and spaced out along the twig (not in dense rosettes). The leaf shape varies, usually oval, slightly leathery dull green above and coppery brown below, arranged alternately. Flowers tiny (less than 1cm) greenish white, appearing in clusters in the leaf axils. The flowers are said to smell like pandan. Fruits small (1-1.2cm) and oval.
Ecology
This coppery tree is often seen on our wild shores: natural cliffs, rocky and sandy shores as well as secondary forests. In the wild, it originally also grew in the back mangroves.
Distribution
Coastal regions from Japan, to Taiwan, Vietnam, Peninsular Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines to Papua New Guinea, Australia and western Pacific. Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra, Borneo (throughout the island).
Uses According to Burkill, the timber is heavy, pinkish brown and used for cabinet making and carving. The leaves are used in treatment for stomach ache, chest pains and poultices for lumbago.

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