Omphalea queenslandiae and Omphalea papuana Pax & K.Hoffm., are similar species that have at times been confused. Their ranges overlap in northeastern Australia. The report on edibility from [
] for Omphalea queenslandiae refers to plants growing wild in New Guinea and almost certainly refers to Omphalea papuana. Omphalea queenslandiae is endemic to northeastern Australia and its range does not extend to New Guinea. The report from [
] cites Omphalea gageana (Pax & K.Hoffm.) Airy Shaw as a synonym of Omphalea queenslandiae, but Omphalea gageana is seen as a synonym of Omphalea papuana and is treated as such here.
Omphalea queenslandiae is a a large woody vine which climbs high up into trees. It has a red sticky sap when cut. The vine stem can become 10 - 15 cm across and grow to 20 metres long[
The plant is sometimes harvested from the wild for local use as a food.
Although the family Euphorbiaceae contains a very high percentage of poisonous plants, the seeds of this and several other species in the genus Omphalea are an exception to the rule, with several of them being considered wholesome and being eaten by humans. Some caution should be employed, however, since there are often warnings about how they should be eaten. Some reports, for example, say that the flesh in the seeds tastes quite pleasant but almost all people eating it report quite startling gastric consequences[
Australia - northeast Queensland
Grows in well developed lowland and upland rain forest; at elevations up to 1,800 metres in New Guinea[
The plant can not withstand frost[
Plants require a sunny position in well drained soil[
This species sometimes produces quite large seed crops and the ripe seeds can be picked up in quantity from the forest floor[
Seed - cooked[
]. - see notes above on taxonomy.
A cluster of fruit is borne on a branch up to 5cm long near the base. The fruit is 6 - 10cm across and fleshy with
3 - 4 lobes. The fruit surface is smooth and yellow when ripe. The seed coat is hard, brown and ridged. The kernel is white[
]. A kernel of a nut weighs about 3 grams[
Cuttings of firm new growth[
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