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Species profile—Floydia praealta (ball nut)


Plantae (plants) → Equisetopsida (land plants) → ProteaceaeFloydia praealta (ball nut)

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Species details

Plantae (plants)
Equisetopsida (land plants)
Scientific name
Floydia praealta (F.Muell.) L.A.S.Johnson & B.G.Briggs
Common name
ball nut
WildNet taxon ID
Alternate name(s)
opossum nut
bull nut
big nut
possum nut
Nature Conservation Act 1992 (NCA) status
Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC) status
Conservation significant
Pest status
Floydia praealta is a small to medium sized tree growing up to 30 m tall with a trunk up to 60 cm diameter. The bark is brown with a rough appearance. The leaves are leathery to semi-stiff. They are oblanceolate to oblong shaped, and measure 10 to 25 cm long by 1 to 3 cm wide. Both leaf surfaces are green and shiny with the lower surface glossier. The leaf margins are wavy but not serrate. There are 10 to 28 pairs of lateral veins, that are at first straight, then distinctly interarching near the margin. The venation is densely reticulate and obvious on both surfaces. The leaf stalk is 0.6 to 1.2 cm long. The creamy coloured flowers have stalks that are 3 to 5 mm long and are arranged in pairs on the stems in a raceme 5 to 12 cm long. The flower perianth is about 1.2 cm long and hairy. The fruit is woody, brown, globular and is usually 3 to 4 cm in diameter. Each fruit contains one or two seeds. The fruit has a somewhat bitter taste. (Foreman, 1995; Borsboom 1999).
Floydia praealta is a monospecific genus and is distinguished from other related genera by the simple juvenile leaves and large globular fruit, by the absence of floral bracts and by the paired flowers borne on a short stalk (Foreman, 1995).
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Floydia praealta occurs from the Gympie area in south east Queensland, south to the Clarence River in north east New South Wales. The species is recorded in Queensland from Brooloo State Forest (SF 135), Triunia National Park, Nicoll Scrub National Park, Mount Pinbarren National Park, Mount Cooroy Conservation Park, and in the Numinbah Valley, Waterfall Creek; Gold Coast Council Conservation Reserve (Queensland Herbarium, 2012).
Distributional limits
-26.112, 152.2875
-28.2298889, 153.4260699
Range derivation
Range derived from extent of the taxon's verified records
Floydia praealta occurs in riverine and lowland subtropical rainforest. Associated species include: Acmena smithii (lilly pilly), Aphananthe philippinensis (native elm), Argyrodendron trifoliolatum (crowsfoot elm), Canarium australasicum (mango-bark), Diploglottis australis (native tamarind), Excoecaria dallachyana (scrub poison tree), Flindersia australis (crows ash), Gmelina leichhardtii (white beach), Grevillea hilliana (white yiel yiel), Harpullia pendula (tulipwood) , Pentaceras australe (bastard crow's ash), Pouteria queenslandica (blush coondoo), Pseudoweinmannia lachnocarpa (marara), Syzygium francisii (giant water gum), S. luehmannii (small-leaved water gum), S. moorei (durobby) and Toona ciliata (red cedar) (Borsboom, 1999).
Flowering normally occurs from January to April, although at Springbrook in south east Queensland, flowering has been recorded in July. Fruiting is from January to June. (Borsboom 1999; Queensland Herbarium, 2012).
Threatening processes
Historically, Floydia praealta was recorded from a large number of rainforest sites. However, much of the habitat has been cleared or heavily disturbed. Currently F. praealta is known from less than 20 sites in south east Queensland and less than five sites in New South Wales. On five Queensland sites surveyed in 1994 the population was very low (1 to 3 plants) (Borsboom, 1999).
Status notes
Floydia praealta is listed as Vulnerable under the Queensland Nature Conservation Act 1992 and Vulnerable under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999
Management recommendations
Management recommendations for Floydia praealta include the establishment of a protective buffer (0.3 ha) that excludes clearing with all F. praealta to be at least 30 m inside the buffer (Borsboom and Wang, 1997).
Occurs in the following Queensland pastoral districts: Moreton, Wide Bay. Also occurs in New South Wales.
The species is suspected of being poisonous (Lazarides and Hince 1993).
Borsboom, A. and Wang, J. (1999).Floydia praealta Species Management Profile, Department of Natural Resources, Queensland.
Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPC) (2012). Floydia praealta in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, Canberra.
Foreman, D.B. in McCarthy, P.M. (Ed) (1995). Flora of Australia 16: 417-419.
Harden, G.J. in Harden, G.J. (ed.) (1991). Flora of New South Wales Vol. 2, p. 65. New South Wales University Press, Kensington.
Lazarides, M. and Hince, D. (Eds). (1993). CSIRO Handbook of Economic Plants of Australia. CSIRO Publications. Canberra.
Queensland Herbarium (2012). Specimen label information. Queensland Herbarium. Accessed 11/01/2012.
Profile author
Ronald Booth (19/03/2012)

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Data source

This profile data is sourced from the QLD Wildlife Data API using the Get species by ID function used under CC-By 4.0.

This information is sourced from the WildNet database managed by the Queensland Department of Environment and Science.

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Last updated
20 May 2024