Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Actephila plicata P.I.Forst. 

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
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Herbarium sheet. CC-BY: ATH.

Forster, P.I. (2005), A taxonomic revision of Actephila Blume (Euphorbiaceae/Phyllanthaceae) in Australia. Austrobaileya 7(1): 83-85 Type: Queensland. North Kennedy District: Mt Dryander, left branch Dryander Creek, 15 km N of Proserpine, 20 16'S, 148 34'E, 6 February 2004, P.I.Forster PIF29943, R. Jensen & M.C. Tucker (holo: BRI [1 sheet + spirit]; iso: MEL, NSW).


Shrub or small tree to 6 m tall. Branchlets angular in cross section, glossy, red-brown, with elliptic lenticels. Blaze cream with red-pink flecks, fruit salad scent; wood straw.


Leaves simple, in subopposite whorls or alternate, glabrous. Stipules present, scale like, ovate to triangular ovate to 1.8 mm long. Petiole 0.3-2.5 cm long. Leaf blade elliptic to obovate, about 3.7-20.7 cm long, 2-7.8 cm wide. Base acute to cuneate, margins revolute, apex acute to rounded. Midrib prominently raised below, tapering to flush about 2/3 along axis, lateral veins slightly depressed with leaf blade raised or convex between veins. Lateral veins curving but forming only indistinct loops inside the blade margin.


Inflorescences are axillary and rarely interpetiolar, occasionally occurring on stems between leaf nodes; fasciculate. Both male and female flowers produced on the same plant, however, male flowers have not been seen or described for this species (coding has been extrapolated from other species in genus). Buds in axils of leaves are often seen as gnarly clusters interspersed with scale like bracts. Female flowers: on stout pedicels about 8-10 mm long; sepals 5 (sometimes treated as tepals), 2.8-3.5 mm long, ciliate in patches at the tip. Petals absent or one or two present, 2.5-3 mm long. Disk conspicuous, fleshy, 5 lobed; ovary not seen. Styles and stigmas not seen.


Pedicels 6-10 mm long. Capsules depressed-globular, about 15-19 mm diam., 5-6 lobed, green. Sepals persistent at the base of the fruit. Seeds shaped like the segment of an orange, 7-11 mm long, 5-8.5 mm wide, pale tan and fawn to olive green and tan; caruncle present.


Features not available.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to CEQ between Mt Dryander and Cape Hillsborough National Park. Altitudinal range sea level to 100 m. Grows in dry rainforest and vine thicket.

Natural History & Notes

Differs from Actephila latifolia Benth. by the leaves with a margin that is revolute versus flat and the fruit being 5-6 lobed versus rounded (Forster 2005).

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