Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Elaeocarpus stellaris L.S.Sm.

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Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO
Fruit, side view, cross section and endocarp. © W. T. Cooper

Smith, L.S. (1969) Contributions from the Queensland Herbarium 6: 3. Type: near Gregory Falls, 11 miles WSW. of Innisfail, Smith 5349 (holotypus, BRI.078262).

Common name



Usually encountered as a small tree to 30 cm dbh but recorded to 50 cm dbh.


Leaf blades about 10-17.5 x 4-8 cm. Domatia are foveoles. About 15-25 inconspicuous teeth on each side of the leaf blade.


Sepals about 14-17 mm long. Petals about 24 x 10 mm, divided at the apex into three broad, blunt lobes. Stamens about 50-60. Ovary hairy.


Fruits ellipsoid-ovoid, about 50-60 x 45-50 mm or larger. Endocarp very thick, hard and horny, usually 5-lobed in transverse section and the rat-eaten remains are normally present under mature trees. Each endocarp about 50-60 x 45-50 mm with five large vertical lobes or wings.


Cotyledons oblong, about 30 x 10 mm. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade obovate, apex bluntly acuminate; margin crenate, teeth very fine, inconspicuous with a fine aristate apex, glabrous; stipules small, triangular and shed early. Seed germination time 134 to 157 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to NEQ, restricted to the Alexandra Creek-McDowall Range area and just south of Mt Bartle Frere on the North and South Johnstone River catchments. Altitudinal range from 50-500 m. Grows in a variety of well developed rain forests.

Natural History & Notes

Fallen fruit eaten by Cassowaries. Native rats chew through the thick endocarp and eat the seed. Cooper & Cooper (1994).

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