Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Cathormion umbellatum subsp. moniliforme (DC.) Brummitt

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
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Leavea and flowers. © Australian Plant Image Index (APII). Photographer: M. Fagg.
Fruit [not vouchered]. © G. Sankowsky
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Cotyledon and 1st leaf stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO

Brummitt, R.K. (1970) Kew Bulletin 24: 231.

Common name



Smaller trees have very thorny stems. Larger trees have very coarsely flaky bark, individual bark flakes up to 20 x 10 cm.


Leaflet blades +/- sessile, about 2.1-4.3 x 0.9-2.7 cm, increasing in size towards the apex of the secondary axis.


Individual flowers on distinct pedicels about 3-4 mm long. Umbel peduncles about 2-4.5 cm long. Staminal filaments about 15-20 mm long.


Pods flat, about 10-20 cm long, constricted between the seeds, breaking into one seeded segments at maturity.


Cotyledons fleshy without visible venation. At the tenth leaf stage: leaflets unequal-sided at the base, increasing in size towards the apex of the secondary axis; aborted shoots become thorns about 1 cm long; numerous small, pale lenticels present on the stem. Seed germination time 6 to 58 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in WA, NT, CYP and NEQ. Altitudinal range quite small, from sea level to 100 m. Grows in monsoon forest and other closed forests, usually on heavy soils which are periodically flooded, also found in closed forests near the sea often near mangroves or salt pans. Also occurs in Asia and Malesia.

Cathormion umbellatum var. moniliforme (DC.) Brummitt, Kew Bulletin 24: 231(1970). Inga monilifera Decne., Nouvelles Annales du Museum d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris ser. 3, 3 : 459(1835), Type: Inga monilifera DC. [presumably referring to Inga moniliformis DC.]. Feuilleea monilifera (Decne.) Kuntze, Revisio Generum Plantarum 1: 188(1891). Pithecellobium moniliferum (Decne.) Benth., Hooker's London Journal of Botany 3 : 211(1844). Cathormion moniliferum (Decne.) Hassk., Retzia sive Observationes Botanicae, quas in primis in horto botanico Bogoriensi mensibus Februario ad Julium 1855 1: 231(1855). Cathormion umbellatum (Vahl) Kosterm., Bulletin of the Organisation for Scientific Research in Indonesia No. 20 : 12(1954). Albizia moniliforme(DC.) F.Muell., Journal of Botany 10 : 10(1872). Inga moniliformis DC., Prodr. 2: 440(1825), Type: Timor, Collector unknown; holo: G-DC; iso: K. Fide R. S. Cowan (1998).
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