Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Diplatia tomentosa Barlow

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Fruit. © CSIRO
Leaves, Fruit. © CSIRO
Leaves and flowers. © CSIRO
Fruit. © CSIRO

Barlow, B.A. (1966) Australian J. Botany 14: 488. Type: Queensland, near Rocky Point, 22 May 1964, B.A. Barlow 753; Holo: AD; Iso: BRI.


Aerial stem-parasitic shrub. Epicortical runners absent. Stems attached to a globose structure about 7-13 cm diam.


Leaf blades thick and brittle, cracking along a straight line when bent back on themselves. Leaf blades about 8.5-12.5 x 2-3 cm, petioles about 0.3-1 cm long. Leaf blades 5-(-7) veined, the venation not obvious in mature leaf blades but generally visible in young leaf blades.


Inflorescence consists of a pedunculate head of two sessile triads enclosed by two large foliaceous bracts, each bract about 20-30 x 16-21 mm. Peduncle about 5-8 mm long. Free calyx about 0.5 mm long, irregularly lobed. Corolla about 25-32 mm long. Anthers about 3-3.5 mm long, staminal filaments about 5-6 mm long. Disk fleshy, surrounding the base of the style. Ovary about 1.5 mm long, densely clothed in white hairs. Style about 25-29 mm long.


Clusters of fruits enclosed in large leafy bracts about 20-30 x 16-20 mm. Fruits clothed in hairs, each fruit about 10-12 x 8 mm with the calyx remnants (about 2 mm long) persistent at the apex. Seeds immersed in a sticky, transparent mucilage. Seeds about 7-8 x 5-6 mm with 5 branched longitudinal stripes visible on the surface. Endosperm pale green. Embryo darker green and about 5 mm long. Cotyledons difficult to distinguish, +/- fused together, about 3 mm long. Cotyledons slightly wider than the radicle.


Features not available.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to Queensland. Occurs in CYP and NEQ. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 600 m. Commonly found as a parasite of Melaleuca spp. in open forest and on rain forest margins.

Natural History & Notes

Food plant for the larval stage of the Narcissus Blue and Sapphire Azure Butterflies. Braby, M. (2000).

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