Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Archidendron lucyi F.Muell.

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
Click/tap on images to enlarge
Flowers. © CSIRO
Fruit dehiscing and seed. © W. T. Cooper
Fruit. © B. Gray
Dehiscing fruit. © B. Gray
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Leaf. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, hypogeal germination. © CSIRO

Mueller, F.J.H. von (1868) Fragmenta Phytographiae Australiae 6: 201. Type: Murray River, Rockingham Bay, 14 Oct 1867, J. Dallachy; holo: K (?), iso: MEL.

Common name

Scarlet Bean; Bean, Scarlet


Seldom grows beyond 30 cm dbh. Blaze odour obnoxious, resembling that of rotten tomatoes (Lycopersicon esculentum).


Leaflet blades rather large, about 13-20 x 6.5-11 cm, narrowed into a short, about 0.4-0.5 cm, dark, transversely wrinkled stalk. Depressed glands usually present on the upper surface, at the base and apex of the compound leaf petiole or at the base of the compound leaf petiole and at the apex of the primary compound leaf axis. Similar glands also present on the secondary axes between the attachment points of the leaflets.


Inflorescences mainly on the stem. Flower odour like honeysuckle (Lonicera spp.) Flowers pedicellate, pedicels about 3-4 mm long. Staminal filaments cream, about 30-50 mm long.


Fruit borne on the stem and larger branches but mainly on the stem. Fruits yellow or orange on the inner surface. Seeds about 10-16 x 8-10 mm.


First pair of leaves pinnate, each leaf with two leaflets, midrib on the upper surface, petiole and stem with a few very short, prostrate, pale hairs. At the tenth leaf stage: leaves and petioles glabrous; crater-like glands on the upper surface of the compound leaf at the apex of the petiole and on the secondary axes where the leaflets are attached; leaflet blades without glands. Seed germination time 11 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in NEQ. Altitudinal range from sea level to 100 m. Grows as an understory tree in coastal lowland rain forest. Also occurs in eastern Malesia and the Solomon Islands.

Natural History & Notes

A small tree suitable for tropical gardens. Produces very large compound leaves, panicles of white flowers from the trunk and branches and orange-red spiraled fruits that are yellow inside and have blue or blue-black seeds.

Pithecellobium lucyi (F.Muell.) Mohlenbr., Webbia 21 : 695(1966). Affonsea lucyi (F.Muell.) Kuntze, Revisio Generum Plantarum 1: 158(1891). Albizia lucyi (F.Muell.) F.Muell., Iconography of Australian Species of Acacia and Cognate Genera, Decades 13 : 6th(1888). Archidendron sogorense Baker f., J. Bot. 61 : 12(1923), Type: Sogere, New Guuinea, 1885 - 86, H. O. Forbes 615; holo: K, iso: Bm, MEL. Archidendron papuanum Merr. & L.M.Perry, Journal of the Arnold Arboretum 23: 392(1942), Type: Vailala R. Papua and New Guinea, L. J. Brass 1110; holo: A. Fide I. C. Nielsen (1982).
RFK Code
Copyright © CSIRO 2020, all rights reserved.