Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Atractocarpus hirtus (F.Muell.) Puttock

Herb (herbaceous or woody, under 1 m tall)
Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
Click/tap on images to enlarge
Leaves and flower. © Stanley Breeden
Fruit. CC-BY J.L. Dowe
Fruit, side views, cross section and seed. © W. T. Cooper
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO

Puttock, C.F. (1999) Australian Systematic Botany 12: 289.

Common name

Gardenia, Hairy; Hairy Gardenia; Loquat, Native; Native Loquat


Usually flowers and fruits as a shrub about 1-2 m tall.


Stipules about 13 mm long, hairy on the outer surface but glabrous on the inner. Pairs of leaves often crowded on the twigs and appear to be grouped in a whorl of four. Leaf blade about 10-13 x 3-5 cm, both the upper and lowers surfaces clothed in long straight hairs. Lateral veins about 11-14 on each side of the midrib. Young shoots and twigs densely clothed in brownish hairs.


Flowers about 4 cm diam. Calyx tube (hypanthium) about 30 mm long, split on one side near the apex, densely hairy on the outer surface, lobes reduced to small teeth. Corolla tube about 25-30 mm long, upper part swollen, lobes about 20-30 mm long. Anthers +/- sessile, about 6-9 mm long, included in the swollen part of the corolla tube. Style + stigma about 20-25 mm long, stigma lobes sticky, about 7-8 mm long.


Fruits pyriform or turbinate, about 18-21 mm diam., very hairy on the outer surface. Seeds immersed in an orange pulp. Seeds about 6-7 mm long. Embryo about 3.5-4 mm long, cotyledons wider than the radicle.


Cotyledons stipulate, +/- orbicular, about 5-7 mm diam. First pair of leaves opposite and stipulate, At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade elliptic to obovate, apex acuminate, base attenuate, densely hairy on both the upper and lower surfaces, particularly along the midrib and lateral veins. Petiole very short. Stipules interpetiolar, triangular, about 10 mm long. Leaf blade arched between the lateral veins on the upper surface. Seed germination time 81 to 116 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to NEQ. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 1000 m. Grows as an understory plant in well developed lowland, upland and mountain rain forest.

Natural History & Notes

A very attractive small shrub with large white flowers. Unfortunately, it is hard to maintain in a healthy condition without good moist soil and shady conditions.

Randia hirta (F.Muell.) F.Muell., Systematic Census of Australian Plants : 74(1883). Gardenia hirta F.Muell., Fragmenta Phytographiae Australiae 7: 46(1869), Type: Queensland, Mackay (Tully) River, 15 Oct. 1867, Dallachy s.n.; lecto: MEL.
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