Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Clerodendrum tracyanum (F.Muell.) Benth.

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
Click/tap on images to enlarge
Flower. © Barry Jago
Fruit. © W. T. Cooper
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, hypogeal germination. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO

Bentham, G. (1870) Flora Australiensis 5: 62.

Common name

Witches Tongues; Flowers of Magic; Tracey's Clerodendron


Seldom exceeding 30 cm dbh. Blaze darkening rapidly on exposure to orange-brown.


Leaf blades +/- cordate, about 10-30 x 8-20 cm. Leafy twigs, petioles, both the upper and lower surfaces of the leaf blade densely clothed in prostrate, pale brown hairs. Numerous small sunken glands visible on the underside of the leaf blade, close to the midrib, more numerous towards the base.


Several brown, flat, scale-like glands visible on the outer surface of each hairy calyx lobe. Calyx about 5-7 mm long, lobes about 1.5-3 mm long. Corolla tube about 6-8 mm long, somewhat hairy and glandular externally, no more than twice the length of the corolla lobes.


Fruits globose-ovoid, about 4-6 x 6-7 mm. Calyx lobes persistent at the base, red. Carpels black or greenish black.


First pair of leaves broadly ovate to almost orbicular. Margin toothed with about 5-8 irregular teeth on each side. Both the upper and lower surfaces clothed in short hairs. At the tenth leaf stage: leaves cordate, densely hairy on the upper surface. Seed germination time 21 to 250 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in CYP (?) and NEQ. Altitudinal range from sea level to 450 m. Grows in well developed lowland and upland rain forest. This species is favoured by disturbance and is a characteristic component of rain forest regrowth. Also occurs in New Guinea.

Premna tracyana F.Muell., Fragmenta Phytographiae Australiae 5: 61(1865), Type: In montibus Seaview Range ad sinum Rockinghams Bay. Dallachy.
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