Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Diospyros geminata (R.Br.) F.Muell.

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
Click/tap on images to enlarge
Fruit. © A. Ford & F. Goulter
Fruit. © G. Sankowsky
Leaves and fruit. © G. Sankowsky
L. male flower; M. female flower; N. fruit. © Queensland Government
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Trunk. © G. Sankowsky

Mueller, F.J.H. von (1867) Intercolonial Exhibition Essays, 1866-67, No. 5. Australian Vegetation : 35.


A shrub or tree to 12 m.


Leaf blades about 3-9.5 x 1-5 cm. Lateral veins 5-8, forming rather irregular loops inside the blade margin. Glands mostly 1-5 on each side or midvein in basal half. Oil dots numerous, small, visible with a lens. Petioles pink or reddish.


Male flowers fasciculate on several condensed axes, mostly 7-20 flowers in each axil; flowers sessile; calyx tube 1.4-2 mm long, lobes 3(-4) about 1 mm long, with short appressed hairs; corolla tube 2.5-3.7 mm long, lobes mostly 3 about 2-2.5 mm log, with short appressed hairs; stamens 6-9, not attached to corolla tube; pistillode 0.5-1 mm long. Female flowers fasciculate, sessile, 2-4 on a short common peduncle; calyx 3-lobed, tube 1.3-1.8 mm long, with short appressed hairs; corolla 3-lobed, tube 2.5-3.5 mm long, with short appressed hairs; staminodes absent; ovary 1.5-2 mm long, 3-locular; style 0.4-0.6 mm long, hairy.


Fruit usually 1 or 2 (to 4) on a common peduncle, about 8-11 mm diam. 1-3 seeded, seeds 6-7 mm long. Testa mottled brown and green. Endosperm oily.


Cotyledons thick and leathery, ovate-elliptic, broadly ovate to orbicular, about 12-21 x 10-15 mm. Oil dots visible with a lens when viewed from the upper surface. One small hairy cataphyll often produced just above the cotyledons. First pair of leaves alternate, elliptic to obovate, margins smooth. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade obovate to elliptic, apex obtuse, base cuneate; the stem and terminal bud clothed in brown prostrate, medifixed hairs. Cataphylls sometimes present among the leaves. Roots black. Seed germination time 26 to 34 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in CYP, NEQ, CEQ and southwards as far as south-eastern Queensland. Altitudinal range in northern Australia from near sea level to 700 m. Grows in monsoon forest, vine thickets, gallery forest and some of the drier types of rain forest. Also occurs in New Guinea.

Ebenus geminata (R.Br.) Kuntze, Revisio Generum Plantarum 2: 408(1891). Diospyros ferrea var. geminata (R.Br.) Bakh., Bulletin du Jardin Botanique de Buitenzorg Series 3 15: 58(1937). Maba geminata R.Br., Prodromus Florae Novae Hollandiae : 527(1810), Type: v.v.; Northern Australia, R. Brown.
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