Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Afrohybanthus enneaspermus (L.) Flicker

Herb (herbaceous or woody, under 1 m tall)
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Flower. © G. Sankowsky
Flowers and fruit. © G. Sankowsky
Dehisced fruit. © G. Sankowsky
Leaves and flowers. © Australian Plant Image Index (APII). Photographer: M. Fagg
Leaves and flowers. © Australian Plant Image Index (APII). Photographer: M. Fagg

Flicker, B.J. & Ballard, H.E. (2015) Phytotaxa 230(1): 47-48.

Common name

Spade Flower


Perennial herbs up to 60 cm tall with erect stems; stems longitudinally ribbed and clothed in scabrid hairs.


Leaf blades 16-60 x 2 x 3-9 mm, petioles absent or up to 1 mm long. Leaf blade clothed in short erect hairs, side veins obscure, margin strongly inrolled (revolute). Stipules 0.75-2.5 mm long, with a few hairs at the base.


Peduncles about 4 mm long. Pedicels 2-7 mm long, thin. Sepals lanceolate, 2.5-3 mm long, keeled, glabrous with only a few hairs at base or keel densely hairy. Petals variable; two petals cream to green, ca. 2.5 x 1 mm; two petals ca. 4 x 1.25 mm, cream to green with a pink to orange apex; one petal larger, spathulate, 8-10 x 4-5 mm, orange-pink, with a short (0.5-0.7 mm long) saccate spur. Anthers ca. 0.75 mm long, filaments about 1 mm long, anterior filaments with penicellate nectaries. Pollen cream. Some staminal filaments have dorsal, plumed appendages. Anthers with terminal appendages either a filament or a flap???. Ovary about 1 mm diam. Style about 1-1.25 mm long.


Capsule valves glabrous. Seed with many parallel longitudinal ridges, apex truncate.


Features not available.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in WA, NT, CYP, NEQ, CEQ and southwards as far as north eastern New South Wales. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 1270 m. Grows in open places in rainforest, Eucalypt forest, various types of woodland, heathland, shrubland, wooded grassland and on beach dunes. Also from Africa, India, Malesia and New Guinea.

Viola enneasperma L., Species Plantarum Edn. 1 2: 937(1753), Type: Sri Lanka, Hermann s.n. in Vol. I, p. 19 of Hb. Hermann (lectotype BM!).  Hybanthus enneaspermus (L.) F.Muell., Fragmenta Phytographiae Australiae 10(83): 81 (1876).
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