Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Alectryon subdentatus (F.Muell. ex Benth.) Radlk.

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

Radlkofer, L.A.T. (1879), Actes du Congres International de Botanistes .. Amsterdam for 1877: 117.

Common name

Hard Alectryon; Holly-leaved Birdseye


Shrub or small tree to 11 m. Bark grey to brown, at first smooth, becoming rough and scaly. Branches and stems pubescent with pale yellow hairs, older stems sparsely hairy or hairless. Young stems longitudinally grooved.


Leaves alternate, compound, with 4-6 or occasionally 2 leaflets. Leaflets opposite or sub-opposite, the lowest pair much smaller than others ( ± stipule like), paripinnate; leaf axis or rhachis with a terminal process or appendage (sometimes indistinct). Stipules absent. Petiole 0.2-2 cm long; petiolules 1-2 mm long. Leaflet blades elliptic, broad-elliptic to obovate, 2-9.5 cm long, 0.5-4 cm wide, base obtuse to cuneate, often asymmetrical, margin serrate to dentate sometimes very shallowly dentate to rarely entire, apex obtuse, with small raised gland terminating midrib on lower surface. Leaflets with 8-12 lateral veins. Domatia absent. Upper surface glossy and hairless or finely hairy, lower surface hairy, paler green or yellowish green.


Inflorescence axillary, paniculate, 3-6 cm long. Flowers functionally unisexual and monoecious, actinomorphic, perianth of 4-5 (-6) sepals, pink or red, 1.5-3.5 mm diam. Pedicels 1-2 mm long. Calyx cupular, lobes 0.5-0.7 mm long, petals absent. Male flowers with 6-8 stamens and a rudimentary ovary. Female flowers with staminodes and a superior ovary of 2-4 fused carpels.


Fruit usually a 2-lobed capsule (sometimes 1-lobed), ± globose and laterally compressed, 0.8-1.2 cm long, 1.4-2 cm in diam., green, splitting irregularly, velvety hairy on outside. Seeds 2, 1 per lobe, black; aril red, fleshy and granular, cupular, usually covering seed to more than halfway.


Features not available.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in CEQ, from W of Mackay southwards to New South Wales. Grows in dry rainforest usually on steep rocky slopes.

Natural History & Notes

Differs from Alectryon tomentosus in that the leaflets of Alectryon tomentosus are oblong-elliptic to lanceolate with margins regularly toothed and both surfaces are usually hairy (4-8 in number). This profile information and associated coding has been adapted from Harden et al. (2014) and Reynolds (1982, 1985).

Nephelium subdentatum Benth. Flora Australiensis 1: 465 (1863), Type: "N. S. Wales. Tenterfield, New England, C.Stuart; "Tarampa Hill," Leichhardt." Alectryon subdentatus f. pseudostipularis Radlk. Repertorium Specierum Novarum Regni Vegetabilis 20: 28 (1924). Type: "In Australiae colonia Queensland: Warburg. n. 19158; ("Toowoomba Scrub"; steril.; Hb. Berol.)."
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