Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Atalaya multiflora Benth.

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Herbarium sheet. CC-BY: ATH.
Fruit. CC-BY: ATH.
Herbarium sheet. CC-BY: ATH.
Flower. CC-BY: ATH.

Bentham, G. (1863), Flora Australiensis 1: 463. Type: Brisbane River, F. Mueller, Dec 1856 (MEL 74652 lectotype); W. Hill & F. Mueller, 1858 (K, syntype).

Common name

Broadleaved whitewhood


Small tree to 20 m; bark grey, becoming finely fissured; buds and young stems hairy becoming hairless.


Leaves compound, pinnate, alternate, with 1-2 pairs (rarely more) of leaflets and no terminal leaflet; leaflet stalks 2-6 mm long, enlarged into a prominent basal pulvinule. Leaflet blades usually 7-12 cm long and 1.5-3.5 cm wide, oblong, ovate or obovate-elliptic, glabrous, thick and leathery, glossy above, paler below or concolorous; apex obtuse to rounded, truncate or retuse; base cuneate, asymmetrically decurrent; pinnately veined with up to 10-14 main lateral veins each side of midvein; veins prominent, especially below. New growth reddish. Juvenile leaves narrow-lanceolate to narrow elliptic. Rhachis  in juvenile leaves winged.


Inflorescence consisting of large panicles up to 25 cm long, terminal or in upper axils. Flowers functionally unisexual and monoecious, however variously described in literature as: polygamous (with unisexual and bisexual flowers present); falsely polygamous (with male flowers and apparently bisexual but functionally female flowers present); and dioecious. Flowers white, zygomorphic; sepals 4, 3-3.5 mm long, 2-5 mm wide, silky outside; petals 4, 6 mm long, 3 mm wide, obovate, hairy on claw outside, inside glabrous except densely hairy yellow crested scale; disc unilateral. Male flowers stamens 8, with rudimentary ovary; female flowers ovary superior, 2-3 locular, staminodes present.


Fruit dry, a schizocarp, 2-3-lobed, indehiscent but splitting into winged single-seeded samara-like mericarps. Each complete wing and basal seed part about 3.5 cm long. Seeds testa soft and leathery.


Features not available.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in NEQ, CEQ and southwards to north eastern New South Wales. Altitudinal range from sea level to 900 m. Grows in open forest, rainforests, dry rainforest, and semi deciduous vine thickets.

Pseudatalaya multiflora (Benth.) Baill., Histoire des Plantes 5: 419 (1874).
RFK Code


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