Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Coelospermum purpureum Halford & A.J.Ford

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
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Flowers. © Stanley Breeden
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO

Halford, D.A. & Ford, A.J. (2009) Austrobaileya 8(1): 70. Type: Queensland. Cook District: Daintree National Park, SE ridge of Mt Hemmant, above Noah Creek, 5 June 2007, A.J. Ford AF5084 Jensen.


Usually flowers and fruits as a shrub 2-5 m tall, occasionally grows into a small tree to 10 m tall.


Stipules about 2 mm long, interpetiolar, fused at the base and encircling the twigs. Leaf blade about 10-11 x 3-4 cm. Leaves glabrous, +/- elliptic with a well developed drip tip at the apex. Venation difficult to distinguish but the lateral veins forming loops inside the blade margin. Petiole flat or ridged on the upper surface. Twigs glabrous.


Flowers pleasantly perfumed. Calyx (hypanthium) cup-like, glabrous, tube about 6-7 mm long, lobes minute. Corolla tube about 7-8 mm long, lobes about 11-12 mm long, reflexed at anthesis but the tips inflexed or hooked. Corolla glabrous outside but sparsely hairy on the inner surface near the point of attachment of the anthers. Anthers about 8-9 mm long. Style inserted in the centre of a fleshy disk at the apex of the ovary. Stigmas about 4 mm long.


Fruits change colour from yellow to brown overnight as they ripen. Fruits pyriform, about 10-14 x 10-14 mm, calyx remnants persistent at the apex. Pyrenes four, each about 8 mm long. Embryo small, about 3-5 mm long, cotyledons slightly wider than the radicle and about one third of the length of the embryo.


Cotyledons ovate or narrowly triangular, about 20-32 x 15-21 mm, shortly petiolate or +/- sessile, drawn out into a point at the apex. Margins undulate, at least towards the apex. Stipules short and blunt, about 1.5 mm long. First pair of leaves opposite, margins entire, glabrous. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade narrowly elliptic to slightly obovate, about 9-10 x 3 cm, petiole about 3-4 mm long. Stipules about 3-4 mm long, connate at the base. Seed germination time 138 to 165 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to NEQ, known from three distinct and disjunct populations in the Cooktown area (Mt Finnigan), the Cape Tribulation area, and in the Topaz-Towalla area including Mt Bartle Frere. Altitudinal range from 80-1360 m. Grows as an understory plant in undisturbed well developed upland and mountain rain forest.

Randia sp. Boonjee (BG 5345). Orthographic variant: Caelospermum purpureum Halford & A.J.Ford .
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