Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Decaspermum humile (G.Don) A.J.Scott

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
Click/tap on images to enlarge
Leaves and Flowers. © CSIRO
Flower. © Barry Jago
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Cotyledon and 1st leaf stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO

Scott, A.J. (1979) Kew Bulletin 34: 64.

Common name

Currant Myrtle; Grey Persimmon; Silky Myrtle; Brown Myrtle


Dead bark layered. Cambial layer often turning purplish on exposure.


Midrib raised but the lateral veins scarcely visible on the upper surface. Oil dots just visible to the naked eye or visible with a lens. Leaf blades about 4.5-8 x 1.2-4 cm.


Calyx tube (hypanthium) sericeous. Petals about 3-5 mm long, marked by comparatively large oil glands. Anther connective ending in a terminal gland.


Fruits about 4-8 mm diam. containing about 8-10 seeds. Seeds with a horseshoe-shaped embryo consisting of a comparatively long radicle and short cotyledons.


Cotyledons ovate, apex ending in a short sharp point, intramarginal vein present, oil dots visible with a lens. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade narrowly elliptic, the apex ending in a thickened sharp point; oil dots small. Seed germination time 85 to 559 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to Australia, occurs in CYP, NEQ, CEQ and southwards to coastal central New South Wales. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 1000 m. Grows in well developed rain forest on a variety of sites.

Natural History & Notes

This is a very ornamental species and widely cultivated. Features include ease of culture, colourful new growth, profuse flowering and the small black fruits that are eaten by birds.

Nelitris humilis G.Don, Gen. Syst. 2: 829(1832), Type: Australia, in Herb. Lambert (not located); Queensland, K. A. W. Williams s. n.; neotype: K. Fide A. J. Scott (1979). Decaspermum laxiflorum (Benth.) Domin, Bibliotheca Botanica 89(4): 1029(1928). Decaspermum paniculatum (Lindl.) Kurz, Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal 46(2) : 61(1877). Decaspermum paniculatum var. laxiflorum (Benth.) F.M.Bailey, A Synopsis of the Queensland Flora : 188(1883).
RFK Code
Copyright © CSIRO 2020, all rights reserved.