Australian red-cedar


Australian red-cedar, or Australian toon, is native to Afghanistan, China and Southeast Asia, from India to the Philippine Islands and northern Australia. It is planted in many tropical countries for its valuable wood, similar in color, odor and physical properties to Spanish cedar. In its native distribution it reaches a height of 150 feet, with a trunk 8 feet in diameter supported by prop roots. The leaves are up to 1.5 feet long and are composed of up to 20 leaflets, the largest up to 6 inches long. Flowers are fragrant and are grouped in large pyramidal inflorescences. Fruits are hard capsules up to 1.5 inches long that open in five parts to liberate winged seeds. It flowers during summer and the capsules open during winter. The generic name derives from the common name for the tree in India. The species name means covered with hairs, in reference to the downy covering on young stems and leaves.

The photographed tree is at the western end of the greenhouse behind the Celis Building and is the only member of the species in the campus.

Toona ciliata (Meliaceae)