Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Colubrina asiatica (L.) Brongn.

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
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Leaves, flowers and immature fruit. © CSIRO
Leaves and fruits. © CSIRO
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Cotyledon and 1st leaf stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Cotyledon and 1st leaf stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO
Vine stem bark and vine stem transverse section. © CSIRO

Brongniart, A.T. (1826) Memoire sur la Famille des Rhamnees : 62.

Common name

Colubrina; Beach Berry Bush


Usually grows as a vine but sometimes flowers and fruits as a shrub. Vine stem diameters to 6 cm recorded.


Leaf blades about 3.5-10 x 2-7 cm, petioles about 1-1.5 cm long. Stipules small and inconspicuous, about 1-1.5 mm long. Lateral veins 3 or 4 on each side of the midrib.


Flowers about 4-5 mm diam. Calyx lobes triangular. Petals hooded, about 1 mm long, enclosing the stamens. Disk glandular, placed between the anther filaments and the style.


Fruit depressed globular, about 7-9 x 8-10 mm, capsular but sitting in a saucer-shaped cupule about 6 mm diam. Seeds three per fruit, about 5-6 x 4-5 mm. Embryo about 4-5 x 4-5 mm.


Cotyledons about 13-18 x 11-15 mm, petioles hairy, about 2-3 mm long. First pair of leaves opposite, margins serrate, leaf blades 3-veined towards the base. Petioles about 5-6 mm long. Stipules about 1 mm long. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade margin serrate, leaf blade 3-veined at the base. Stipules about 1 mm long, broad at the base and tapering abruptly into a narrow, recurved tip. Stem clothed in short, pale brown hairs. Seed germination time 10 to 21 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in WA, NT, CYP, NEQ, CEQ and southwards to south eastern Queensland. Altitudinal range very small, restricted to areas close to sea level. Grows in various habitats near the ocean from beach forest, to strand vegetation, woodland and vine thickets. Also occurs in East Africa, Malesia and the Pacific islands.

Colubrina asiatica (L.) Brongn. var. asiatica, Brittonia 23: 47(1971). Ceanothus asiaticus L., Species plantarum : 196(1753).
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