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Trema tomentosa (ULMACEAE) Poison Peach

Habit

Trema tomentosa - native peach, poison peach
Photo: Robert Whyte

Woody shrub or small tree to 5 m, evergreen, young branches pubescent, useful in revegetation. Produces canopy quickly which can be "lifted" by trimming the lower branches.

Leaves ovate to lanceolate, to 8 cm long, strongly 3-veined from base, main veins usually hairy below; petiole 5-10 mm long.

Resembles Chinese Elm, also in the Ulmaceae (Elms), but does not have such coarsely crenate edges. Trema is finely crenate.

Toxic to stock if they eat large quanities.

Name

TreMA tomentosa
Photo: Robert Whyte

Trema from Greek trema meaning perforation, aperture, or orifice, in reference to the pitted seed coat;
tomentosa from Latin tomentose covered with short and curled or curved matted hairs in reference to the leaf surface.

Fruit

Trema tomentosa
Photo: Robert Whyte

Very small greenish flowers and small black fruit. Leaves are reported to be toxic to cattle. Many local birds eat the fruit.

Host plant for the Speckled Line-blue butterfly so the leaves are eaten by its caterpillar..