Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Family Profile
Family Description

A family of 43 genera and 1450 species, pantropic with a few species in temperate regions; twelve genera occur naturally in Australia.


Cephalaralia - A monotypic genus endemic to Australia. Stanley & Ross (1986).

Hydrocotyle - A genus of 75 to over 130 species with a worldwide distribution but well represented in the southern hemisphere. About 30 species occur naturally in Australia. Bean & Henwood (2003).

Motherwellia - A monotypic genus endemic to Australia. Mueller (1870).

Polyscias - A genus of about 159 species in Africa, Asia, Malesia, Australia and the Pacific islands; twelve species occur naturally in Australia. Bean (2015); Lowry & Plunkett (2010); Philipson (1977, 1978, 1979); White (1936).

Schefflera - A genus of about 200 species, pantropic; three or four species occur naturally in Australia. Frodin (1975).

Trachymene - A genus of about 45 species, mainly in Australia but also in Malesia and the Pacific Islands; about 35 species occur naturally in Australia. Holland (1989).


Bean, A.R. (2015). A conspectus of Polyscias J.R.Forst. & G.Forst. (Araliaceae) in Queensland, Australia. Austrobaileya 9(3): 446.

Bean, A.R. .& Henwood, M.J. (2003). Six new species of Hydrocotyle L. (Apiaceae) from Queensland. Austrobaileya 6:537-548.

Frodin, D.G. (1975). Studies in Schefflera (Araliaceae): The Cephaloschefflera complex. Journal of the Arnold Arboretum 56:427-448.

Holland, A.E. (1989). Notes on Trachymene Rudge (Apiaceae) in Queensland, I. Austrobaileya 3:135-139.

Lowry, Porter, P. II (1986). A systematic study of Delarbrea Vieill. (Araliaceae). Allertonia 4:169-201.

Lowry, P.P. & Plunkett, G.M. (2010). Recircumscription of Polyscias (Araliaceae) to include six related genera, with a new infrageneric classification and a synopsis of species. Plant Diversity and Evolution 128(1-2): 61.

Mueller, F. (1870). Fragmenta Phytographiae Australiae 7:107-108. (Melbourne 1858-1882.).

Philipson, W.R. (1977). The deletion of Pentapanax Seem. from the flora of Australia. Austrobaileya 1:23-24.

Philipson, W.R. (1978). A synopsis of the Malesian species of Polyscias (Araliaceae). Blumea 24:169-172.

Philipson, W.R. (1979). Araliaceae. In 'Flora Malesiana.' Ser. 1, Vol. 9, (Sijthoff & Noordhoff International Publishers: Alphen Aan Den Rijn.), pp. 1-105.

Stanley, T.D. & Ross, E.M. (1986). Araliaceae. In 'Flora of south-eastern Queensland.' Vol. 2, (Queensland Department of Primary Industries: Brisbane.),pp. 235-237.

White, C.T. (1936). Contributions to the Queensland Flora, No. 5. Proceedings of the Royal Society of Queensland 47:51-84.

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