This is a very variable species, with a number of distinct forms. However, all these distinct forms grade into each other through various intermediate forms and so cannot be satisfactorily delineated as species. In addition, there are virtually no floral differences[
Elaeocarpus polydactylus is an evergreen tree with a usually rather open crown; it usually grows from 8 - 30 metres tall, but is sometimes as small as 3 metres. The straight, cylindrical bole can be free of branches for 6 - 10 metres and up to 30cm in diameter[
The tree is harvested commercially from the wild for its wood.
Australasia - New Guinea.
A canopy or subcanopy tree in forests, sometimes in disturbed habitats, at elevations from 1,900 - 3,500 metres[
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We have no specific information for this species, but members of this genus generally grow well in full sun to moderate shade, requiring a fertile, moist but well-drained soil[
A commercial hardwood[
We have no more information on the specific properties of the wood of this species, however the following is a general description of the wood from this genus:-
The heartwood is light-yellowish white to pink-brown, it is not distinctly demarcated from the sapwood. The texture is moderately fine and even, with straight to shallowly interlocked grain. The wood is soft to moderately hard; light in weight to moderately heavy; weak; not very durable. It seasons fairly slowly with slight end and surface checking; shrinkage is fairly low. It is easy to resaw and cross-cut; planing is easy and leaves a moderately smooth finish; nailing properties are good. A general purpose wood, it is suitable for purposes such as general planking, shuttering, boxes, crates, wooden pallets, match splints, veneer and plywood[
The seed of most species in this genus is covered by a hard, woody shell and can be very slow and erratic to germinate, sometimes taking 2 years or more. Filing down the shell, or cracking it (being very careful not to damage the seed) in order to allow the ingress of moisture can help to greatly speed up germination. Sow the seed in containers in light shade. When the seedlings are large enough to handle, prick them out into individual pots and grow them on until large enough to plant out,
Cuttings of almost ripe shoots, in a sandy soil in a frame. The leaves should be left on the stem.[
]. Many species strike readily from cuttings.
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