Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Antiaris toxicaria subsp. macrophylla C.C.Berg

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Female flowers. © CSIRO
Male flowers. © CSIRO
Flower bud, tepals removed to show the anthers. © CSIRO
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, hypogeal germination. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO

Berg, C.C. (1977) Bulletin du Jardin Botanique National de Belgique 47: 939.

Common name



Deciduous; leafless for a period around August. Bark exudate usually obvious, turning pale brown on exposure and drying dark brown to almost black. White granular stripes in the outer blaze. Lenticels tending to be in vertical lines.


Petioles and twigs produce a milky exudate. Leaf blades about 7-17 x 3-8 cm. Lateral veins generally forming loops just inside the blade margin. Terminal buds densely clothed in pale brown hairs. Stipules about 0.3-0.8 cm long.


Male flowers: Receptacle flat or convex, about 7-12 mm diam. Tepals hairy, obtriangular, about 2 mm long forming a hood over the anthers. Anthers white, sessile or almost sessile, about 1.5 mm long. Female flowers: Flowers subtended by numerous bracts. Style branches or stigmas recurved.


Infructescence variable, about 4 x 2 cm. Cotyledons thick and fleshy more or less equal in size. Radicle very short.


At the tenth leaf stage: the upper surface of the leaf blade and petiole clothed in pale hairs; stipules hairy, linear-subulate. Seed germination time 21 to 32 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in NT, CYP and NEQ. Altitudinal range from sea level to 200 m. Grows in well developed rain forest, gallery forest and some of the drier, more seasonal rain forests. Also occurs in Asia, Malesia and some Pacific islands.

Natural History & Notes

The specific epithet was applied to this species because the latex has been used as an arrow or dart poison. The tree is not as dangerous as some of the early travellers tales would suggest but it should be treated with caution.

For some indication of the chemical components of the arrow poisons. ( FACULTY.html#Heading90 (17-8-2000)). This species is poisonous. ( /herbage/A1652.htm)

Antiaris toxicaria var. macrophylla (R.Br.) C.C.Berg, Bulletin du Jardin Botanique National de Belgique 47: 309(1977). Antiaris macrophylla R.Br., Voyage to Terra Australis 2: (1814), Type: In barren stony places, on the shores of Companys Islands, adjacent to Arnhems Land .. in about .. February 1803. Antiaris toxicaria Lesch., Annales du Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle 16: 478(1811), Type: Indonesia, Malaya.
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