Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Backhousia kingii Guymer

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Herbarium sheet. CC-BY: ATH.
Herbarium sheet: flower. CC-BY: ATH.

Guymer, G.P. (1988) Austrobaileya 2(5): 567. Type: Queensland. Port Curtis District: Along Moore Ck, 23°20′S, 150°33′E, ca 2 km N of Rockhampton, 14 April 1985, E.R. Anderson 3976 (holo: BRI).

Common name
Scaly Bark Ironwood

Tree up to 20 metres; bark pale brown to grey, smooth, shed in strips.


Strongly aromatic when crushed. Leaves opposite, new growth reddish and decussate; small linear axillary stipules that fall early leaving scars that may be difficult to discern; blades broadly elliptic to ovate or obovate, entire, glabrous, 2-6 cm long, 1.2-3.5 cm wide; pinnately veined with 5-7 main laterals each side of midvein; apex obtuse to rounded; base cuneate to attenuate; midvein shallowly channelled above, raised below; petioles short, 2-4 mm; oil glands dense and obvious.


Flowers arranged in upper axils in many flowered 8-20 umbels or panicles; pedicels, peduncles and outside of hypanthium puberulent; sepals 4 (or 5), green, turning brown, outer pair slightly larger, persistent in the fruit; petals 4 (or 5), longer than sepals, white to cream, deciduous early; stamens numerous, free, longer than sepals; anthers small, versatile, dorsifixed; gynoecium half-inferior with 2 locules each with 2-4 ovules, and surrounded by thinly pubescent hypanthium.


Fruit dry, brown, indehiscent, enclosed by persistent hypanthium with spreading sepals; locules 2, each with 2-4 pale brown seeds about 2 mm long.


Features not available

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to Queensland, occurs in CEQ from south of Mackay southwards to near Gayndah in south eastern Queensland. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 400 m. Grows in vine thickets.

Natural History & Notes

Ref.: Harden et al (2014)

RFK Code


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