Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Bursaria tenuifolia F.M.Bailey

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
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Flowers. © Barry Jago
Leaves and fruits. © CSIRO
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO

Bailey, F.M. (1899) The Queensland Flora 1: 72. Type: Barron River, E. Cowley: Shaw Island, Lord Lamington: Northcote, R.C. Burton; Herberton, J.F. Bailey.

Common name

Slender Bursaria; Sweet Blackthorn


Seldom exceeding 30 cm dbh. A pine (Pinus spp.), turpentine or mango (Mangifera indica) odour generally apparent in the blaze.


Leaf blades about 35-95 x 9-25 mm, much paler on the underside. Terminal buds and young shoots densely clothed in short, brownish hairs.


Pedicels and calyx glabrous or very sparsely pubescent. Petals about 4-6 mm long.


Fruit a flat capsule about 7-8 mm long. Seeds flat, about 3-4 x 3-5 mm with a very narrow membranous wing. Embryo about 0.2 mm long, cotyledons visible as lobes at the apex.


Cotyledons linear. From about the third to tenth leaf stage, leaf axils possess a long spine and a cluster of small leaves. Soon after the tenth leaf stage spines are absent. Seed germination time 27 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to Queensland, occurs in CYP, NEQ and CEQ. Altitudinal range from sea level to 1000 m. Usually grows in open forest but also found in monsoon forest and on rain forest margins.

Natural History & Notes

Not commonly cultivated but it has a place in gardens because of the masses of white flowers which can cover the plant.

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