Neorites is a genus of a sole described species of tall trees, constituting part of the plant family Proteaceae.[1] The species Neorites kevedianus is endemic to the wet tropics rainforests of north eastern Queensland, Australia.[2] The trees have the common names of the fishtail oak or fishtail silky oak.[3]

Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Order: Proteales
Family: Proteaceae
Subfamily: Grevilleoideae
Tribe: Roupaleae
Subtribe: Roupalinae
Genus: Neorites
N. kevedianus
Binomial name
Neorites kevedianus
  • Neorites kevediana

Taxonomy and namingEdit

Queensland botanist Lindsay Smith named the species in 1969, from a collection from forestry land near Kuranda in 1955 by Queensland forestry officers Kevin J. White and H. Edgar Volck. Smith coined the species names from the first names of the finders.[4]

Peter H. Weston and Nigel Barker refined the classification of the Proteaceae in 2006, incorporating molecular data. Here, Neorites emerged as closely related to the genera Orites and Roupala. They thus placed the three genera in the subtribe Roupalinae, conceding that the next closest relatives of this group is unclear. This group lies within the subfamily Grevilleoideae.[5] Clock dating with molecular and fossil data indicated ancestors of Neorites and the South American genus Roupala may have diverged in the mid-Oligocene around 30 million years ago, and that this lineage in turn separated from the ancestors of Orites in the late Eocene around 36 million years ago.[6]

Common names for Neorites kevedianus include fishtail silky, fishtail oak, or fishtail silky oak.[3]

A compound-leaved fossil species has been recovered from the middle Eocene Golden Grove site in Adelaide that closely resembles Neorites kevedianus. Although abundant at this site, it has not been recovered elsewhere.[7]


Neorites kevedianus grows as a tree to 15–30 m (49–98 ft) high.[2] The new growth is covered in brownish fur.[3]

Distribution and habitatEdit

Neorites kevedianus is native to north Queensland, where it is found in rainforest on volcanic soils at altitudes from 150 to 1150 m above sea level.[2]


  1. ^ "Neorites". Flora of Australia Online. Department of the Environment and Heritage, Australian Government.
  2. ^ a b c "Neorites kevediana". Flora of Australia Online. Department of the Environment and Heritage, Australian Government.
  3. ^ a b c Hyland, B. P. M.; Whiffin, T.; Zich, F. A.; et al. (Dec 2010). "Factsheet – Neorites kevedianus". Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants (6.1, online version RFK 6.1 ed.). Cairns, Australia: Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), through its Division of Plant Industry; the Centre for Australian National Biodiversity Research; the Australian Tropical Herbarium, James Cook University. Retrieved 13 March 2013.
  4. ^ Wrigley, John; Fagg, Murray (1991). Banksias, Waratahs and Grevilleas. Sydney: Angus & Robertson. pp. 463–64. ISBN 0-207-17277-3.
  5. ^ Weston, Peter H.; Barker, Nigel P. (2006). "A new suprageneric classification of the Proteaceae, with an annotated checklist of genera" (PDF). Telopea. 11 (3): 314–344. doi:10.7751/telopea20065733.
  6. ^ Sauquet, Herve; Weston, Peter H.; Anderson, Cajsa Lisa; Barker, Nigel P.; Cantrill, David J.; Mast, Austin R.; Savolainen, Vincent (2009). "Contrasted patterns of hyperdiversification in Mediterranean hotspots" (PDF). PNAS. 106 (1): 221–25. Bibcode:2009PNAS..106..221S. doi:10.1073/pnas.0805607106. PMC 2629191. PMID 19116275.
  7. ^ Hill, Robert S. (1994). History of the Australian Vegetation: Cretaceous to Recent. Cambridge University Press. p. 269. ISBN 0-521-40197-6.