Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Clausena brevistyla Oliv.

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
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Flowers [not vouchered]. © G. Sankowsky
Flowers [not vouchered]. © G. Sankowsky
Leaves and fruit. © CSIRO
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, hypogeal germination. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO

Oliver, D. (1861) Journal of the Proceedings of the Linnean Society, Botany 5, 2nd. Suppl. : 31. Type: In `Hope Islets! MGillivray, Hb. Hook.

Common name



Seldom exceeding 30 cm dbh.


Oil dots large and conspicuous. Leaf blades about 3-9 x 1-4 cm. Midrib often hairy on the upper surface of the younger leaves. Terminal buds and young shoots hairy.


Calyx about 0.5 mm long. Corolla about 3-4 mm long. Calyx, corolla and ovary all marked by large conspicuous oil glands. Stamens eight. Ovary lobed, particularly towards the apex. Style short, less than half the length of the ovary.


Fruits globose, about 6-10 mm diam., surface of the fruits marked by pale glandular spots. Seeds about 9-11 x 7-8 mm. Testa smooth. Cotyledons green, outer surface marked by conspicuous oil glands.


First pair of leaves have a winged petiole and rhachis. At the tenth leaf stage: margin of leaflets toothed with a gland at the base of each tooth; a few inconspicuous hairs along the midrib on the upper surface of the leaflets; oil dots conspicuous. Seed germination time 11 to 23 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in CYP, NEQ, CEQ and southwards as far as south-eastern Queensland. Altitudinal range from sea level to 800 m. Grows as an understory tree in well developed rain forest on a variety of sites. Also occurs in New Guinea.

Natural History & Notes

Food plant for the larval stages of the Orchard and Ambrax Butterflies. Common & Waterhouse (1981).

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