Glochidion ferdinandi (EUPHORBIACEAE); Cheese tree

Cheese Tree
Glochidion ferdinandi - foliage & fruit - Derek Boddington 2002
Small densely growing tree to 10m, usually on margins of rainforest and along most, scrubby watercourses. Common. Although recorded as far inland as Toowoomba, and the upper Hastings River, NSW, the species is coastal from Illawarra, NSW to north-west Australia.

Leaves are simple, alternate, two-ranked. The blade is soft and thin, green and glossy above, paler below and sometimes softly hairy. The leaves are elliptical to oblong-elliptical, sometimes slightly unequal-sided at the base, 4-9 cm long.

Flowers are greenish/yellow in clusters from the leaf axils. Separate male and female flowers on same plant. Flowering from October to November.

Fruit is a capsule, green to red, roundish, ribbed, 10-15 mm in diameter. Seeds, 4-6 flat. Ripe November to February. The fruit resemble miniature pumpkins or miniature Edam cheeses.

It is a fast growing bushy tree with a spreading crown of smooth shining leaves making it a suitable garden subject. It is suitable for moist and/or shaded gardens. Is often damaged by leaf miners when young.

Not edible.

Can be propagated from either seeds or cuttings which strike easily.
Glochidion ferdinandi is a host plant for Arhopala micale and Candalides helenita butterflies. The Coscinocera hercules or Hercules or Atlas Moth of north Queensland feeds on this tree.