Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Actephila vernicosa P.I.Forst.

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
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Male and female flowers. © G. Sankowsky
Leaves and flowers. © G. Sankowsky
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, Epigeal germination. © CSIRO

Forster, P.I. (2005) Austrobaileya 7: 91. Type: Queensland, Millaa Millaa Falls, 23 June 1997, P.I Forster PIF 21249. Holo: BRI. Iso: DMA, MEL, NSW.


Usually flowers and fruits as a shrub about 1-3 m tall, sometimes flowers when smaller.


Leaf blades about 5-8 x 2.5-3.5 cm, petioles about 0.2-0.5 cm long. Lateral veins about 5-12 on each side of the midrib. Stipules small, less than 1 mm long. Terminal buds enclosed in a number of bracts or scales. Leaves alternate but often arranged in whorl-like clusters or in pairs.


Male flowers: Flowers about 5 mm diam., pedicels about 4-6 mm long. Anthers about 4-5, about 0.5 mm wide, filaments about 2 mm long. A large flat disc surrounds the rudimentary ovary which has a tuft of brown hairs at the apex. Female flowers: Flowers pedicels about 7-15 mm long, a large flat disc surrounds the ovary. Ovary about 1 mm diam. Stigmas three, each bilobed at the apex.


Capsules depressed globular, about 12 x 18 cm, disintegrating completely at maturity. Tepals persistent at the base and styles at the apex. Pedicels about 25 mm long. Seeds about 2-4 per fruit. Seeds angular, about 9 mm long. Cotyledons folded many times.


Cotyledons +/- orbicular, about 25 x 20-27 mm, base cordate, apex rounded. First pair of leaves elliptic, margins smooth, midrib raised on the upper surface. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blades obovate, very attenuate at the base, lateral veins forming loops inside the blade margin. Stipules brown, broadly triangular, about 1 mm long or less. Terminal bud enclosed in overlapping bracts. Cotyledons usually still present at the tenth leaf stage. Seed germination time 16 to 387 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to NEQ, known only from collections made at a few sites on the Atherton Tableland. Altitudinal range from 600-800 m. Grows as an understory plant in well developed upland rain forest.

Actephila sp. (Wooroonooran N.P. P.I. Forster PIF 17151), Queensland Plants Names & Distribution : (1997). Actephila sp. (Millaa Millaa RJ 494).
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