Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Abutilon micropetalum Benth.

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
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Leaf and flowers. © B. Gray
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO

Bentham, G. (1863) Flora Australiensis 1: 201. Type: Queensland, Hills about Shoalwater Bay, R. Brown. N.S. Wales. Bowen river, Herb. Mueller (Herb. R.Br. and F.Muell.).


Flowers and fruits as a shrub 1.5-3 m tall.


Leaf blades about 5-17 x 3-15 cm. Both the upper and lower surfaces of the leaf blade clothed in very fine stellate hairs. About 5-7 veins radiate from the base of the leaf blade. Teeth present all around the margin of the leaf blade. Stipules linear, about 5 mm long. Major lateral veins raised on the upper surface. Twig bark strong and fibrous when stripped.


Perianth (calyx) cup-like, about 10-16 mm long, lobes short. Petals absent or very small. Staminal filaments fused to form a column. Pollen yellow. Ovary about 11-12-locular, densely hairy on the outer surface. Stigmas about 11-12, red.


Fruits clothed in pale hairs and enclosed in persistent brown calyx lobes. Seeds about 3 x 3 mm, laterally compressed, obtuse at one end and acute at the other, clothed in pale brown hairs. Cotyledons green, wider than the radicle.


Cotyledons cordate or triangular, about 11-14 x 11-16 mm, upper and lower surfaces hairy when viewed with a lens. Petioles much longer than the cotyledons. First pair of true leaves with about 4 or 5 large teeth on each margin. At the tenth leaf stage: leaves cordate, apex acuminate, base cordate, upper surface clothed mainly in pale simple hairs, lower surface clothed mainly in stellate hairs. Stipules filiform, about 3-5 mm long. Petiole long and slender. Seed germination time 11 to 17 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to Queensland, occurs in CYP, NEQ, CEQ and southwards as far as south-eastern Queensland. Altitudinal range from 100-600 m. Grows as an understory plant in monsoon forest and vine thickets.

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