Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Abrophyllum ornans (F.Muell.) Hook.f. ex Benth.

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
Click/tap on images to enlarge
Flower. © Barry Jago
Leaves, flowers and immature fruit. © CSIRO
Fruit. © CSIRO
Fruit, three side views and cross section. © W. T. Cooper
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO

Bentham, G. (1864) Flora Australiensis 2: 437.

Common name

Abrophyllum; Beautiful Abrophyllum; Native Hydrangea


Grows into a tree seldom exceeding 30 cm dbh, but also flowers and fruits as a shrub.


Leaf blades about 11-20 x 3-7 cm, petioles about 3 cm long. Main lateral veins and some reticulate veins depressed on the upper surface of the leaf blade. Marginal teeth comparatively small and papillose. Twig pith septate.


Petals about 4-5 mm long. Ovary orange, style, if present, very short, stigma usually 5-lobed, occasionally 4-lobed.


Fruits about 8-12 mm long. Seeds small. Testa translucent brown, finely rugose.


Cotyledons elliptic, about 1-1.5 mm long. First pair of leaves clothed in simple hairs. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade margin serrate with teeth all around the margin; both the upper and lower leaf surfaces clothed in simple hairs, likewise the stem and terminal bud. Seed germination time 47 to 129 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to Australia, occurs in CYP, NEQ, CEQ and southwards to south-eastern New South Wales. Altitudinal range in NEQ from 300-1200 m. Grows as an understory tree in well developed upland and mountain rain forest but more frequently as a regrowth species in disturbed areas.

Brachynema ornans F.Muell., Fragmenta Phytographiae Australiae 3: 90(1862), Type: Ad ripas fluminis Richmond prope Ballina. C. Moore. Abrophyllum ornans var. microcarpum F.M.Bailey, Queensland Agricultural Journal 24: 221(1910), Type: Dunk Island, E.J. Banfield. Abrophyllum ornans (F.Muell.) Benth. var. ornans, Queensland Agricultural Journal 24: 221(1910). Abrophyllum microcarpum (Bailey) Domin, Bibliotheca Botanica 89(4): 705(1928).
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