Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Breynia macrantha (Hassk.) Chakrab. & N.P.Balakr.

Herb (herbaceous or woody, under 1 m tall)
Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
Click/tap on images to enlarge
Female flower. © Barry Jago
Fruit, side view, dehisced, cross section and seeds. © W. T. Cooper
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO

Chakrabarty, T. & Balakrishnan, N.P. (2012) Bangladesh Journal of Plant Taxonomy 19(2): 121.

Common name

Pumpkin Fruit; Sauropus, Atherton; Atherton Sauropus; Pumpkin Bush


Usually flowers and fruits as a shrub about 1-3 m tall.


Leaf blades about 6-11 x 3-5 cm, produced on lateral shoots which resemble compound leaves. Leaves tend to be alternate and not spirally arranged on the twigs. Stipules triangular, about 4 mm long, apex acuminate, margins pale (at least when dry).


Male flowers: Flowers about 2 mm diam. on long slender pedicels about 10-15 mm long. Anthers attached to three extremely short spokes radiating from the centre of the flower. Female flowers: Flowers about 4-5 mm diam. on long slender pedicels about 10-15 mm long. Ovules 2 per locule. Stigmas 6.


Fruits +/- shaped like miniature Queensland Blue pumpkins (Cucurbita pepo) borne on long slender pedicels. Fruits about 10-12 x 15-18 mm, calyx persistent at the base of the fruit. Seed completely enclosed in a white aril. Endosperm scanty. Cotyledons very unequal, the smaller cotyledon +/- embedded in the convex side of the larger cotyledon.


Cotyledons without any obvious veins, one cotyledon thick and fleshy, the other thinner and shorter, more closely resembling an ordinary leaf. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade ovate, apex acute, base rounded. Twigs winged with the wings starting at the base of each petiole and extending down the stem. Stipules triangular, about 1-2 mm long, margin pale at least when dry. Seed germination time 38 to 53 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in NEQ. Altitudinal range from 700-800 m. Grows as an understory plant in well developed upland rain forest on basalt. Also occurs in Asia and Malesia.


Sauropus macranthus Hassk.Retzia sive Observationes Botanicae, quas in primis in horto botanico Bogoriensi mensibus Februario ad Julium 1855 1: 166 (1855). Type: Java, cult. in Hort. Bogor, 1854?, Teijsmann s.n.; L barcode L0138428.  Sauropus spectabilis Miq., Fl. Ind. Bat. Suppl : 446 (1861), Type: Sumatra, Lampong, in m. Radjabassa, Teijsmann; holo: BO. Glochidion umbratile Maiden & Betche, Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 31(4): 370 (1905), Type: Queensland, Atherton, Aug. 1901, E. Betche s.n.; holo: NSW, barcode NSW247350.

RFK Code
Copyright © CSIRO 2020, all rights reserved.