Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Abutilon oxycarpum (F.Muell.) F.Muell. ex Benth.

Herb (herbaceous or woody, under 1 m tall)
Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
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Leaves and Flowers. © CSIRO
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO

Bentham, G. (1863) Flora Australiensis 1: 204.

Common name

Abutilon, Small-flowered; Small-flowered Abultilon


Usually flowers and fruits as a shrub about 1-2 m tall.


Leaf blades about 2-7 x 0.8-2.5 cm. Both the upper and lower surfaces of the leaf blade clothed in stellate and simple hairs. Venation palmate, usually with seven (including the midrib) veins radiating from the base of the leaf blade. Stipules linear, about 4-6 mm long, hairy. Margin with numerous teeth.


Pedicels about 10-20 mm long, clothed in stellate and glandular hairs. Flowers about 11-13 mm diam. Calyx variable, tube about 1.5 mm long, lobes about 2 mm long, densely clothed in white stellate hairs. Petals about 7 mm long, adnate to the staminal tube. Stamens about 30-35, free filaments about 1-2 mm long, staminal tube about 2 mm long. Anthers curved. Ovary 10-locular, pubescent on the outer surface. Style 10-branched, column 1-1.5 mm long, stylar branches about 1.5-2 mm long.


Fruits star-shaped, about 8 mm diam., clothed in stellate hairs, calyx persistent at the base. Mericarps 10, each with 2-5 seeds. Seeds about 1-4 x 1-2.5 mm. Radicle about 1 mm long, cotyledons folded over one another.


At the tenth leaf stage: leaves cordate, apex acuminate, base cordate, leaf blade densely stellate hairy on both the upper and lower surfaces. Stipules hairy, linear, about 4 mm long. Seed germination time 47 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to Australia (?), occurs in WA, NEQ,CEQ and southwards to south-eastern Queensland and north eastern New South Wales. Altitudinal range not known but collected at 760-840 m. In NEQ grows as an understory plant in vine thickets and monsoon forest.

Natural History & Notes

Several varieties are recognised based on leaf shape and indumentum. The most commonly found in rainforest communities is Abutilon oxycarpum var. oxycarpum.

Abutilon oxycarpum var. oxycarpum
Flowers with petals 6-10 mm long, leaves with lamina narrowly to broadly ovate with base  ± cordate.
Abutilon oxycarpum var. subsagittatum
Flowers with petals 3-4 mm long, leaves with lamina oblong-ovate with base somewhat sagittate.

This profile information and associated coding has been adapted from and Harden et al. (2014)


Sida oxycarpa F.Muell., Fragmenta Phytographiae Australiae 2(11): 12 (1860). Type: "In pratis ad flumina Fitzroy, Mackenzie, Suttor, Dawson, Burnett et Darling River."

RFK Code
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