Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Breynia cernua (Poir.) Mull.Arg.

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
Click/tap on images to enlarge
Leaves and fruit. © CSIRO
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, Epigeal germination. © CSIRO

Mueller Argoviensis, J. (1866) Prodromus 15: 439.

Common name

Imer; Gamer; Gagilamo; Gambiran


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


Leaves arranged distichously on twigs so that each twig resembles a compound leaf. Stipules broadly triangular, small but persistent, about 1-2 mm long. Leaf blades about 25-40 x 15-23 mm. Lateral veins forming fairly distinct loops inside the blade margin. Leaves do NOT emit an obnoxious odour when crushed.


Flowers about 1-1.5 mm diam. at anthesis. Male flowers: Flowers with sessile anthers, fused to one another to form a staminal column in the centre of the flower. Female flowers: Flowers with a perianth that resembles an eggcup with the gynoecium enclosed like an egg in an eggcup. Style fleshy and swollen.


Tepals persistent at the base of the fruit. Fruit about 5-8 mm diam. A lateral cavity exists within the testa, and the endosperm and embryo are curved to accommodate the cavity.


Cotyledons elliptic to obovate, about 8-10 x 4-5 mm. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade with a very small mucro at the apex, leaves arranged distichously on lateral shoots so that each lateral shoot resembles a compound leaf. Stipules triangular, about 0.5-2 mm long. Seed germination time 63 to 65 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in WA, NT, CYP, NEQ, CEQ and southwards as far as south east New South Wales. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 800 m. Grows in beach forest, monsoon forest and vine thickets. Also occurs in Malesia.

Natural History & Notes

Food plant for the larval stages of the Common Grass Yellow Butterfly. Common & Waterhouse (1981).

Melanthesa cernua Decne., Nouvelles Annales du Museum d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris 3 : 483(1835), Type: Timor, J. Decaisne; holo: P?.
RFK Code
Copyright © CSIRO 2020, all rights reserved.