Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Dendrolobium umbellatum (L.) Benth. var. umbellatum

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

Bentham, G. (1852) Pl. Jungh. : 216. Type: ?.

Common name

Horse Bush


Usually flowers and fruits as a shrub about 3-4 m tall.


Middle leaflet larger than the lateral leaflets. Stalk of the middle leaflet much longer than those of the lateral leaflets. Middle leaflet about 7.3-11 x 3.7-6 cm, stalk about 1.3-2.3 cm long. Lateral leaflets about 5-7.5 x 2.2-4 cm, stalks about 0.3-0.7 cm long. Stipules about 1.5-2 mm long, shed early. Stipels about 1-2 mm long.


Cotyledons about 7-9 x 4-5 mm, margins recurved. First true leaf usually simple, second leaf usually trifoliolate. At the tenth leaf stage: compound leaf petioles and leaflet stalks clothed in long, pale-coloured hairs. Stipules large, narrowly triangular, about 1 cm long. Seed germination time 9 to 14 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in CYP, NEQ and CEQ. Altitudinal range not great, usually found close to sea level. Also occurs in East Africa, Asia, Taiwan, Malesia and the Pacific islands.

Natural History & Notes

Readily browsed by cattle and horses. Hacker (1990).

Dendrolobium umbellatum (L.) Benth., Pl. Jungh. : 216(1852). Desmodium umbellatum (L.) DC., Prodromus 2: 325(1825). Hedysarum umbellatum L., Species Plantarum : 747(1753), Type: Herb. Hermann vol.2 fol. 26, No. 293; lecto: BM. Fide Pedley in Turland & Jarvis (1997) Taxon 46: 457 - 485. Aeschynomene arborea L., Species Plantarum : 713(1753), Type: Sri Lanka, N of Trincomalie, 1 Sept. 1931, N. D. Simpson 8516; neo: BM. Fide Pedley in Turland & Jarvis (1997) Taxon 46: 457 - 485.
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