Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Atractocarpus merikin (F.M.Bailey) 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 Flowers. © CSIRO
Leaves and Flowers. © B. Gray
Fruit, side view and cross section. © W. T. Cooper
Fruit. © CSIRO
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO

Puttock, C.F. (1999) Australian Systematic Botany 12: 292.

Common name

Gardenia, Mountain; Merikin; Gardenia; Mountain Gardenia


Usually flowers and fruits as a shrub about 1-3 m tall, occasionally grows to a height of 5 m.


Stipules about 4-8 mm long, +/- encircling the twigs, stipules drawn out into a tip at the apex, mainly glabrous except for a line of hairs along the midrib on the outer surface. Leaf blades about 14-18 x 4.5-6 cm, petioles very short or nil. Lateral veins about 8-12, forming loops inside the blade margin.


Calyx densely clothed in prostrate hairs on the outer surface, calyx lobes about 1 mm long. Corolla tube dilated in the upper half, about 15-20 mm long, lobes about 30 mm long. Anthers about 7 mm long; anthers included in the corolla tube.


Fruit ovoid, about 55-70 x 40-45 mm, circular in transverse section. Calyx lobes persistent at the apex. Seeds patelliform, about 6-8 x 6 mm. Embryo about 2 mm long. Cotyledons +/- orbicular, about 1.5 mm diam., much wider than the radicle.


Cotyledons cordate or orbicular, about 10-11 mm diam. First pair of leaves opposite. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade spathulate, +/- sessile, hairs on the outer surface at least along the midrib. Lateral veins forming loops inside the blade margin. Stipules interpetiolar, about 7 mm long, +/- encircling the twigs. Seed germination time 23 to 98 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to NEQ. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 1200 m. Grows as an understory plant in well developed lowland, upland and mountain rain forest.

Natural History & Notes

This shrub has very good horticultural potential being easy to cultivate and produces large, white, highly perfumed flowers.

Gardenia merikin F.M.Bailey, The Queensland Flora 6: 2005(1902), Type: Queensland, Atherton, W.E. Roth 339; holo: BRI.
RFK Code
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