Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Dichapetalum timoriense (DC.) Boerl.

Click/tap on images to enlarge
Flowers. © G. Sankowsky
Leaves and flowers. © G. Sankowsky
Leaves and flowers. © G. Sankowsky
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, hypogeal germination. © CSIRO
Vine stem bark and vine stem transverse section. © CSIRO

Boerlage, J.G. (1890) Handleiding flora Nederl. Indische 1: 199. 


Vine stem diameters to 6 cm recorded. Dead bark layered, showing growth rings in transverse section.


Leaf blades about 8-17 x 3-7 cm, petioles about 0.6-1 cm long. Stipules +/- linear, about 3-5 mm long, clothed in pale prostrate hairs. Lateral veins 5-8 on each side of the midrib forming loops inside the blade margin. Young leafy twigs densely clothed in pale hairs. Backwards pointing branches assist in climbing.


Sepals densely clothed in hairs on the outer surface and similarly clothed on the inner surface at least towards the apex. Sepals about 1.5-2 mm long. Petals glabrous, about 1.5-2 mm long with a fold down the middle. Staminodes sessile, alternating with the stamens. Ovary densely hairy, the hairs extending to the base of the style. Stigma 3-lobed at the apex. Ovules 2 per locule, pendulous from the apex of each locule.


Fruits depressed globular, about 15 x 22 mm, densely clothed in short hairs. Perianth persistent at the base. Seeds about 3 per fruit, each seed irregular in shape, about 8 x 8 mm.


Usually three cataphylls produced before the first true leaves. First true leaves elliptic-obovate, about 4-4.5 x 2 cm, apex acute or acuminate, base cuneate, petioles about 3 mm long. Midrib raised on the upper surface. Stipules filiform, 3 mm long, hairy. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade elliptic, apex apiculate, base cuneate, midrib raised on the upper surface. Lateral veins forming loops inside the blade margin. Stipules linear, hairy, about 4-6 mm long. Terminal bud densely clothed in fawn-coloured hairs. Seed germination time 37 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in NT, CYP and NEQ. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 200 m. Grows in lowland rain forest and gallery forest. Also occurs in Malesia.

Natural History & Notes

This species should be treated with caution as some species of Dichapetalum produce fluoroacetate which is very poisonous.

Chailletia timoriensis DC., Proromus 2: 57(1825), Type: Timor.
RFK Code
Copyright © CSIRO 2020, all rights reserved.