Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Bertya polystigma Grüning

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
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Female flower. © CSIRO
Leaves and male flower. © CSIRO
Male flowers and leaves. © CSIRO
Leaves and female flowers. © CSIRO
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, Epigeal germination. © CSIRO

Grüning, G.R. (1913) Engler's Das Pflanzenreich Heft 58 : 57. Type: Provinz des tropischen Ostaustralien: N.O. Queensland, Fuss von Walshs Pyramid.


Usually flowers and fruits as a shrub 1-3 m tall but occasionally grows larger.


Leaf blades about 25-45 x 3.5-5 mm, margins recurved, petioles about 0.2-0.5 cm long. Lateral veins scarcely visible, about 6-15 on each side of the midrib. Underside of the leaf blade clothed in white stellate hairs. Brown hairs usually visible on the midrib and margins. Twigs clothed in white stellate hairs.


Male flowers: Flowers solitary or a few together. Staminal filaments fused together to form a pillar with anthers attached from the base to the apex to form a tree-like structure about 4 mm long. Anthers less than 25. Female flowers: Flowers solitary. Ovary densely clothed in long white hairs. Stigmas +/- sessile on the top of the ovary and arranged in three groups each consisting of four stigmatic lobes.


Fruits pubescent with simple and stellate hairs, fruits about 6-8 mm long, exploding when ripe. Stigmas persistent at the apex. Seeds about 5 mm long. Aril or caruncle attached but not really enclosing any part of the seed. Cotyledons much longer than the radicle.


Cotyledons linear, about 23-35 x 2-4 mm, shortly petiolate, the petiole clothed in stellate hairs. First pair of leaves with a covering of stellate hairs on both the upper and lower surface, margins smooth. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade linear to oblong, about 20-25 x 5-6 mm, margin recurved, leaf blade clothed in white stellate hairs, particularly the underside, lateral veins difficult to distinguish, petiole about 1 mm long. Leaves usually shorter than the persistent cotyledons. Stems clothed in stellate hairs. Seed germination time 52 to 98 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to NEQ. Altitudinal range from 150-1200 m. Usually grows as an understory plant in wet sclerophyll forest, but occasionally found in open forest, rain forest and rain forest margins.

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