Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Elaeagnus triflora Roxb.

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
Click/tap on images to enlarge
Flower. © Barry Jago
Leaves and Flowers. © B. Gray
Fruit. © Stanley Breeden
Fruit, side view, cross section and seed. © W. T. Cooper
Leaves and fruits. © CSIRO
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Vine stem transverse section. © CSIRO
Vine stem bark and vine stem transverse section. © CSIRO

Roxburgh, W. (1832) Flora Indica (Carey) 1: 439. Type: A native of Sumatra, from thence introduced into the Botanic Garden in 1804, where it blossoms in December.

Common name

Vine, Millaa; Millaa Vine; Vine, Millaa Millaa; Millaa Millaa Vine; Millaa Millaa


Usually grows as a vine but also flowers and fruits as a shrub. Vine stem diameters to 8 cm recorded. Stems may or may not be armed with spines up to 3 cm long. A clear sticky exudate usually emerges from the wood in stem transverse sections. Vascular rays more obvious in the bark of stem transverse sections.


Leaf blades about 3-13 x 1-6 cm, petioles about 0.5-1 cm long, grooved on the upper surface. Underside of the leaf blade densely clothed in overlapping white, silver or brown peltate scales which completely cover the surface so that no green colour is visible. Terminal buds and young twigs also clothed in similar scales. Twigs may or may not be armed with spines up to 3 cm long.


Flowers about 4-9 mm long, pleasantly perfumed; perianth +/- contracted at the orifice. Outer surface of the perianth clothed in stellate or peltate scales. Inner surface of the perianth lobes clothed in stellate or peltate scales and stellate hairs but the tube glabrous. Ovary not much thicker than the pedicel. Ovules 1.


Surface of the fruit covered with bronze coloured peltate scales. Perianth lobes usually persistent at the apex of the fruit. Seed about 15 x 6 mm, endocarp longitudinally ribbed. Seed surrounded by a fibrous layer which resembles cotton wool, particularly when teased.


Cotyledons about 8-9 x 5-6 mm, glabrous. Hypocotyl clothed in stellate hairs, stem above the cotyledons completely covered with white stellate or peltate scales. First pair of leaves with scattered stellate scales on the upper surface but completely covered with similar scales on the lower surface. At the tenth leaf stage: all parts, except the upper surface of the leaf blade, completely covered with white silver or brown stellate or peltate scales. Seed germination time 16 to 20 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in CYP, NEQ, CEQ and southwards as far as south-eastern Queensland. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 1000 m. Grows in disturbed areas in well developed rain forest on a variety of sites. Also occurs in Malesia.

Elaeagnus latifolia L., Species Plantarum 2: 121(1753), Type: Habitat in Zeylona.
RFK Code
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