A Very Variable Boonaree
I found another leaf shape, at the Bunya Mountains last weekend, to add to my collection of different leaf shapes for this highly variable plant.
It tends to grow in the same places as the related scrub boonaree, Alectryon diversifolius, and can be mistaken for it. Both are large shrubs or small trees. However, hairy boonaree is distinguished by its larger leaves, and despite the scrub boonaree’s scientific name, P. pubescens is the one which has by far the greatest diversity of leaf size and shape. Its leaves are generally larger than those of A. diversifolius , and most plants have at least some leaves with a lobe or two close to the base of the leaf, a thing which A. diversifolius never has.
Hairy boonaree gets its name from the hairiness of various plant parts, most notably the seed capsules. They always begin as double fruits, but quite often only one of the two develops a seed.
By contrast, the Scrub Boonaree
has a rather limited range of leaf shapes...
...and its capsules are not hairy.