The first European account of the tree is in Captain James Cook's logs of his 1770 exploration of the East coast of Australia. The tree was later described as Achras australis by Robert Brown in his 1810 work Prodromus Florae Novae Hollandiae, before being moved to its current binomial name by Baehni in 1942. The alternate name Planchonella australis was coined by Jean Baptiste Louis Pierre in 1890. It belongs to the large genus Pouteria which occurs across the tropics from South America to Indonesia and into eastern Australia. A genetic analysis of Internal transcribed spacer RNA material found that Pouteria australis was most closely related a pair of species, Pouteria cotinifolia and Pouteria eerwah - the three forming a distinct group of Australian species within the genus. An older analysis of DNA material placed it as sister taxon with Pouteria myrsinoides.