Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Clerodendrum costatum R.Br.

Herb (herbaceous or woody, under 1 m tall)
Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
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Flower. © Barry Jago
Fruit and leaves [not vouchered]. © Australian Tropical Herbarium
Fruit and leaves [not vouchered]. © Australian Tropical Herbarium
Fruit and leaves [not vouchered]. © Australian Tropical Herbarium
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO

Brown, R. (1810) Prodromus Florae Novae Hollandiae : 511. Type: Queensland, endeavour River, 1770, Banks & Solander; lecto: BM; iso: BM.

Common name

Witches Tongues; Flowers of Magic


A small tree not exceeding 30 cm dbh.


Leaf bearing twigs pale brown. Leaf blades about 14-16.5 x 6-7 cm. Petioles about 2.5-3.5 cm long, narrowly grooved on the upper surface. Underside of the leaf blade without minute flat glands but clothed in short, curved, +/- tortuous hairs.


Calyx lobes about 3-7 mm long with several flat glands visible on the glabrous inner surface, outer surface hairy. Corolla tube about 50-80 mm long, glabrous externally, lobes about 5-10 mm long. Stamens 4, attached to the upper third if the corolla tube often conspicuously exserted up to 2 cm beyond the corolla tube. Filaments about 40 mm long, anthers about 3 mm long. Style about 90 mm long. Stigma 2-lobed and about 2 mm long. Ovary about 2 mm long.


Fruiting carpels about 7-10 x 6-12 mm, green but turning bluish-purple at maturity. Calyx lobes persistent, red.


Features not available.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in NT, CYP, NEQ and CEQ. Altitudinal range from sea level to 200 m. Grows in monsoon forest, beach forest and the drier, more seasonal rain forests. Also occurs in New Guinea.

Clerodendrum cunninghamii Benth., Flora Australiensis 5: 64(1870), Type: N T, Goulburn Island South, Mar. 1818, A. Cunningham 183; lecto: BM; iso: K. Escape Cliffs, C. Hulls & Endeavour River, A. Cunningham; syn: K, MEL.
RFK Code
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