Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Denhamia disperma (F.Muell.) M.P.Simmons

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Flowers [not vouchered]. CC-BY J.L. Dowe
Fruits. © CSIRO
Dehiscing fruit and seed with aril. © W. T. Cooper
Leaves and fruits. © CSIRO
Leaves and fruit. © CSIRO
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO

McKenna, M.J. et al (2011) Systematic Botany 36(4): 929.

Common name

Orange Boxwood; Boxwood, Orange; Orange Tree; Taper Leaf Orange Bark; Orange Bush; Orange Bark


A thin orange layer often present just inside the dead bark. Cream and pink layers in the blaze.


A thin orange layer usually visible when the twig bark is scraped with a knife. Numerous white or pale lenticels normally visible on the older twigs. Leaf blades about 30-80 x 10-40 mm. Midrib raised on the upper surface and leaf stalk channelled on the upper surface, but usually with a ridge down the middle.


Flowers appear to be hermaphrodite but sometimes the anthers, although well developed, are not functional. Flowers about 6-7 mm diam. Sepals about 1 mm long. Petals oblong, about 1.8-2.5 mm long. Anther filaments about 0.9-1.2 mm long. Ovules 2 per locule.


Capsules +/- obovoid, compressed, about 7-9 x 5-6 mm. Aril at the base of the seed only.


First pair of leaves with inconspicuous crenate teeth, 1-2 on each side of the leaf blade. At the tenth leaf stage: leaves elliptic, apex acute or obtuse, base cuneate, glabrous on the upper surface, midrib raised on the upper surface, teeth small and inconspicuous 1-3 on each side of the leaf blade; stipules small, triangular, about 0.5 mm long. Seed germination time 53 to 345 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to Australia, occurs in NEQ, CEQ and southwards to north-eastern New South Wales. Altitudinal range in NEQ from 300-1100 m. Grows in drier rain forest and monsoon forest.


Celastrus dispermus F.Muell., Transactions of the Philosophical Institute of Victoria 3: 31(1859), Type: In the Araucaria Forests, near Moreton Bay. Maytenus disperma (F.Muell.) Loes., Die Naturlichen Pflanzenfamilien ed. 2 20b: 135 (1942).

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