Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Balanops australiana F.Muell.

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
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Leaves and fruits. © CSIRO
Fruit, side view, cross section and seed. © W. T. Cooper
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO

Mueller, F.J.H. von (1877) Fragmenta Phytographiae Australiae 10: 114. Type: Ad sinum maris Rockinghams Bay, una cum Miliusii specie; Dallachy.

Common name

Pimply Ash; Pimply Bark; Pimplebark; Ash, Pimply


Lenticels pale, almost white, rather large and conspicuous. Roots of large trees raised and extending for a considerable distance above the surface of the ground. Pale brown brittle stripes may be visible in the blaze.


Blade margin often recurved, midrib raised on the upper surface. Lateral veins inconspicuous, forming loops inside the blade margin. Fine teeth may be apparent towards the apex of the leaf blade. Leaf blades about 4.5-9 x 1.5-5 cm.


Tepals and/or bracts about 2-4 mm long, densely clothed in white +/- prostrate hairs in both the male and female flowers.


Fruits sitting in an involucre of bracts like an egg in an egg cup. Fruit about 15 mm long. Cotyledons dark green in ripe fruits.


Cotyledons fleshy without visible venation. Stem between cotyledons and first pair of leaves 4-angled or winged. At the tenth leaf stage: leaves elliptic, shortly acuminate; teeth confined to the upper half of the leaf blade; dark glandular structures occur on the stem near the base of each petiole. Leaf blades about 50 x 17 mm, petioles about 6 mm long. Seed germination time 20 to 356 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to Queensland, widespread in NEQ and extending into CEQ. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 1550 m but tends to be much more common at higher elevations. A characteristic tree along ridges in mountain rain forest, often growing to quite large dimensions.

Natural History & Notes

This species grows into quite a large tree in mountain rainforest. The trees are frequently found on ridge tops and attain large stem diameters (although short boled) and provide useful firewood for poor souls stranded in such areas.

Fruit eaten by Fruit Pigeons. Cooper & Cooper (1994).

Balanops montana C.T.White, Contributions from the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University 4: 15(1933), Type: Mt. Alexander, alt. 1300 m., common in stunted scrub on top of the mountain, no. 1485 (fruiting specimens), Dec. 17 ..
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