Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Dendrolobium arbuscula (Domin) H.Ohashi

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
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Leaves and Flowers. © CSIRO
Leaves and fruit. © CSIRO
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO

Ohashi, H. (1997) Taiwania 42: 137.

Common name

Chillagoe Pea; Horse Bush


Usually grows into a small tree but also flowers and fruits as a shrub. Living bark layer quite thin.


Middle leaflet larger than the lateral leaflets. Stalk of the middle leaflet much longer than those of the lateral leaflets. Stipules about 1.5 mm long, sheathing the terminal bud. Leaflet blades about 1-8 x 1-5 cm. Leaf hairs pale and prostrate. Leaflet stipellae filiform, about 1.5-3 mm long. Middle leaflet about 5.5-11 x 4-6 cm, stalk about 1.3-2.3 cm long. Lateral leaflets about 3.7-7.5 x 2.4-3.8 cm, stalks about 0.3-0.7 cm long. Compound leaf petiole grooved on the upper surface.


Calyx about 4-6 mm long, one lobe much longer than the other lobes. Corolla about 10-12 mm long, consisting of a large standard, enclosing two wings which in turn enclose a keel consisting of two petals. Keel larger than the wings. Stamens 10, filaments all fused to one another to form a tube about 8-9 mm long. Anthers about 0.5-0.75 mm long. Ovary + style about 10 mm long.


Pods flat, about 1-5 cm long, constricted between the seeds, consisting of 1-6 flattened 'beads'. Seeds about 3.5-5 x 3-4 mm.


Cotyledon margin recurved. First leaf usually simple, second trifoliolate. At the tenth leaf stage: leaflet stalks and petiole of compound leaf clothed in long pale, prostrate hairs; stipules large, narrowly triangular, about 1 cm long, clothed in long pale hairs.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in CYP, NEQ and CEQ. Altitudinal range from sea level to 500 m. Grows in monsoon forest and beach forest. Also occurs in New Guinea and Fiji.

Desmodium arbuscula Domin, Bibliotheca Botanica 89(3): 765(1926), Type: Queensland. In xerodrymio ad Chillagoe, Domin 4764 (lecto: PR 527346). Dendrolobium sp. (Mt Scatterbrain J.R.Clarkson+ 6708), Queensland Plants: Names and Distribution : 79(1997), Type: Queensland, Mt Scatterbrain, J. R. Clarkson + 6708.
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