Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Actephila petiolaris Benth. subsp. petiolaris

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
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Female flowers. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, Epigeal germination. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO

Bentham, G. (1873) Flora Australiensis 6: 89. Type: Queensland. Rockingham Bay, Dallachy. Holo: K.


A small tree seldom exceeding 20 cm dbh. Blaze odour resembles that of freshly shelled peas (Pisum sativum).


Leaves glabrous or with scattered fawn indumentum when young. Leaf blades about 9-21 x 5-9 cm, elliptic-ovate, rarely obovate. Petioles long, about 2-9 cm long, grooved on the upper surface and swollen at its junction with the twig. Stipules small and inconspicuous.


Tufts of hair occur on the tips of the tepals. Stamens inserted on a large disk.


Capsules depressed globular, about 20 x 25 mm, pedicels long and slender (about 3-7 cm long). Seeds about 13 x 11 mm. Cotyledons crumpled and folded many times.


Cotyledons +/- orbicular, about 40-45 mm diam. with 3-5 main veins radiating from the base. At the tenth leaf stage: lateral veins forming loops inside the blade margin; midrib raised on the upper surface; petioles green, long and slender, channelled on the upper surface; stipule margins often fimbriate; stem lenticels pale, often quite numerous. Seed germination time 19 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to NEQ, restricted to the Julatten and Cairns-Mulgrave area. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 400 m. Grows in well developed coastal lowland rain forest.

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