Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Exocarya scleroides (F.Muell.) Benth.

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Leaves, spikelets and fruit. © CSIRO
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO

Bentham, G. (1877) Hooker's Icones Plantarum 13: t. 12.


Stems +/- triangular in transverse section. Flowers and fruits as a shrub 1-2 m tall.


Leaves arranged in three vertical rows. Leaf blades about 25-31 x 0.4 cm, margins finely toothed or clothed in prickly hairs. Venation parallel.


Inflorescence a panicle of short spikes. Flowers minute, each enclosed in a bract so that only the stigmas are visible. Each stamen is surrounded by a perianth segment. One ovule per flower.


Fruits about 4 x 3 mm. Seeds about 3 mm long.


Features not available.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in NEQ, CEQ and southwards as far as north-eastern New South Wales. Altitudinal range in northern Australia from 600-1600 m. Grows in open or disturbed areas in upland and mountain rain forest. Also occurs in New Guinea.

Natural History & Notes

This is the typical regrowth species along roads and tracks in mountain rainforest. It grows to height of 2 metres or more and is a harbour for ticks and mites. The leaves are finely serrated on the margins and will easily cut through skin quite readily. See also Gahnia aspera.

Cladium scleroides F.Muell., Fragm. 9: 12(1875), Type: Queensland, Burnett & Dawson Rivers, Leichhardt; syn: MEL?; NSW, Tweed River?, T. Steel?; syn: MEL.
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