Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Actephila foetida Domin

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
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Male flowers [not vouchered]. © G. Sankowsky
Female flowers [not vouchered]. © G. Sankowsky
Male flowers. © CSIRO
Fruit [not vouchered]. © G. Sankowsky
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, Epigeal germination. © CSIRO

Domin, K. (1927) Bibliotheca Botanica 89(4): 869. Type: Nordost-Queensland: Regenwalder bei Harveys Creek (DOMIN XII. 1909) Holo: PR?.


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


Leaves quite large, leaf blades about 30-36 x 12-15 cm. Petioles about 2-9 cm long, grooved or channelled on the upper surface. Lateral veins raised on the upper surface, curving and forming indistinct loops inside the blade margin. Twigs rather stout, (about 6-8 mm diam.) usually with numerous pale coloured lenticels.


Flowers about 3-4 mm diam., produced on burr-like projections on the twigs. Tepals hairy outside, glabrous on the inner surface. One or more very small vestigial petals may be present. In male flowers the staminal filaments emerge from within a white, 5-lobed disk. In female flowers the white disk is apparent but is not obviously 5-lobed as in the male flowers. Ovary surrounded by a flat, white, fleshy disk. Ovary green. Stigmas bilobed.


Capsules +/- depressed globular, about 15-20 mm diam., disintegrating completely at maturity. Tepals persistent at the base of the fruit.


Cotyledons +/- orbicular or slightly wider than long, 25-33 x 28-37 mm, apex +/- truncate to slightly emarginate, base cordate. Stem marked by prominent pale lenticels. First pair of leaves +/- elliptic, apex acute, base obtuse, margin entire. Stipules broadly triangular, about 1.5 mm long. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade +/- elliptic, apex acuminate, base obtuse, upper surface of the leaf blade arched between the lateral veins, petiole grooved on the upper surface. Stipules ovate, about 2 mm long. Seed germination time 22 to 33 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to NEQ, restricted to the areas around Harvey Creek and the township of Bellenden Ker, and Hutchinson Creek, Cow Bay. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 100 m. Grows as an understory plant in +/- undisturbed lowland rain forest.

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