Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Actephila championiae P.I.Forst.

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
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Male flowers [not vouchered]. CC-BY: S. & A. Pearson.
Fruits. CC-BY: ATH.
Fruit. CC-BY: ATH
Dehiscing capsule. CC-BY: APII, ANBG.
Seedling. CC-BY: ATH.
Leaves and scale like clusters around axillary buds. CC-BY: ATH

Forster, P.I. (2005), A taxonomic revision of Actephila Blume (Euphorbiaceae/Phyllanthaceae) in Australia. Austrobaileya 7(1): 66-68 Type: Queensland. South Kennedy District: Black Mt area, 21 36'S, 149 10'E, 20 September 1993, I.G. Champion 870 (holo: BRI; iso: DNA, MEL).


Shrub or small tree to 8 m tall. Branchlets matt to slightly glossy, cream, with elliptic lenticels.


Leaves simple, alternate, subopposite or in subopposite whorls, glabrous. Stipules present, scale like, triangular to 2 mm long. Petiole 1-4.4 cm long. Leaf blade elliptic, narrowly elliptic, oblong, obovate or oblanceolate, about 6.5-22 cm long, 1.2-11 cm wide, ± flat. Base cuneate to rounded, rarely cordate and unequal, margins revolute, apex acute to rounded, rarely retuse. Midrib prominently raised below at base of blade, tapering to flush toward apex. Lateral veins curving but forming only indistinct loops inside the blade margin.


 Inflorescences are axillary, occasionally occurring on stems between leaf nodes; fasciculate or on a peduncle to 5 mm long. Both male and female flowers produced on the same plant, however, it is not unusually to observe only male flowers. Buds in axils of leaves are often seen as gnarly clusters interspersed with scale like bracts. Male flowers: pedicels filiform, 10-15 mm long; tepals 5-6, fused for 2-4 mm at base, free lobes 2.5-4 mm long, ciliate in patches at the apices; disk conspicuous 5(-6) lobed, fleshy; stamens 4-5. Female flowers: on stout pedicels about 10-18 mm long; tepals 5-7, fused for 1-3.2 mm at base, free lobes 2.8-3 mm long, ciliate in patches at the apices. Disk conspicuous, fleshy, 5 lobed; ovary glabrous. Styles fused at base; 3 – 6 stigmatic lobes present at apex.


Pedicels 12-25 mm long. Capsules depressed-globose to subglobose, rounded to weakly trilobate (3-lobed), about 14-20 mm diam., disintegrating completely at maturity, green. Sepals persistent at the base of the fruit. Seeds shaped like the segment of an orange. Mature seeds not collected.


Cotyledons more or less orbicular or slightly wider than long, 24-28 mm long, 22-34 mm wide, apex ± truncate to slightly emarginate, base cordate. Stem marked by prominent pale lenticels. First pair of leaves ± oblanceolate, apex obtuse, base cuneate, margin entire. Stipules broadly triangular, about 1.5 mm long.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to CEQ where it is only known from Black Mountain Range near Koumala (SW of Mackay). Grows in dry rainforest between 160 and 200 m.

Natural History & Notes

Differs from Actephila latifolia Benth. in the cream branchlets versus red-brown, the leaf blade with an obtuse to rounded, rarely weakly cordate base versus cuneate to attenuate, and a margin that is revolute versus flat. From Actephila plicata Forst. it differs by the more or less flat leaves versus shallowly conduplicate, and the rounded to trilobate fruit versus 5-6 lobed fruit (Forster 2005).


Actephila sp. Koumala (I.G Champion 870) [Provisional Phrase Name].

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