Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Excoecaria dallachyana (Baill.) Benth.

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Inflorescence with leaf [not vouchered]. CC-BY: S. & A. Pearson.

Bentham, G. (1873), Flora Australiensis 6: 153

Common name

Scrub Poison Tree, Milky Birch, Milkwood, Brush Poison Tree, Brown Birch, Blind Your Eye


Tree to 15 m tall. Bark light grey, becoming tessellated in large trunks. Bark exudate rapid and copious severely irritating to the eyes and skin. Stems hairless.


Leaves alternate, simple, often produced in a tight spiral. Stipules present, lanceolate, 1-1.5 mm long. Petioles 0.5-2 cm long; glands normally visible, one or more on each side of the leaf blade near its junction with the petiole. Leaf blade ovate to elliptic, 3-9 cm long, 1-4 cm wide, base ± rounded to truncate or tapered, margins crenate or serrate with small glands often present on tooth apex, leaf apex acuminate. Leaf glabrous. Lateral veins about 8-12 on each side of the midrib usually forming loops inside the blade margin.


Inflorescences in axillary spikes, plant dioecious. Flowers 2 or 3-merous, each flower enveloped in a biglandular bract before anthesis. Tepals 2 or 3, ± free, green, white or yellowish brown. Male flowers with 2 or 3 stamens with filaments fused at base; female flowers with superior ovary, with 2 or 3 branched recurved style.


Fruit a dry, dehiscent capsule, 3-lobed, depressed globose, 6-12 mm diam. Fruit green maturing red-brown. Seeds 3, 4-5 mm long.


Features not available.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in the southern part of NEQ near Townsville and in CEQ southwards to north eastern New South Wales. Grows in dry rainforest and vine thicket communities.

Natural History & Notes

This profile information and associated coding has been reproduced from Cooper & Cooper (2004), Airy Shaw (1980) and Harden et al. (2014).

Excoecaria agallocha var. dallachyana Baill., Adansonia 6: 324 (1866), Type: "Dallachy n. 248 (1863) Rockingham Bay? - Bowman, n. 162 Queensland (herb. F. Muell.!)". Excoecaria dallachyana (Baill.) Benth. f. dallachyana, Bibliotheca Botanica 22(89): 892 (1927). Excoecaria dallachyana f. tenuispica Domin, Bibliotheca Botanica 22(89): 892 (1927). Type: "A. DIETRICH n. N. 337."
RFK Code
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