Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Fagraea berteroana A.Gray ex Benth.

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
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Leaves and Flowers. © CSIRO
Leaves and fruit. © CSIRO
Fruit, side views and cross section. © W. T. Cooper
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO

Bentham, G. (1857) Journal of the Proceedings of the Linnean Society, Botany 1 : 98. Type: In ins. Societatis (Bertero, Bidwill, Hinds, Barclay), ins Nukahiva e Marquesas (Barclay), in Archipelago Louisiade dicto (Macgillivray).

Common name

Cape Jitta


Blaze darkens markedly on exposure ending up a grey-brown colour. Usually grows as an epiphyte or lithophyte.


Leaf blades thick +/- leathery, about 10-19 x 4.5-10 cm, apex +/- rounded, base attenuate. Petioles of the apical pair of leaves joined and covering the terminal bud. Midrib raised on the upper surface, petioles flat or convex on the upper surface.


Flowers pleasantly perfumed. Calyx about 10-15 mm long. Corolla narrowly funnel-shaped, tube usually 7-10 cm long.


Fruits ellipsoid to globular, about 3-5.5 x 2.5-4.5 cm. Calyx persistent at the base.


Cotyledons ovate, fleshy, venation not or scarcely visible, apex obtuse. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade fleshy or leathery, obovate or oblong, apex somewhat acuminate; petioles joined at the base, forming an interpetiolar, stipule-like structure which splits as the terminal bud expands. Seed germination time 48 to 102 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in CYP and NEQ. Altitudinal range from sea level to 300 m. Grows in lowland rain forest, gallery forest and monsoon forest. Also occurs in New Guinea, New Caledonia and other Pacific islands.

Natural History & Notes

An excellent shrub or small tree that deserves a place in horticulture. Produces large white, tubular, perfumed flowers and fruits that are orange-red when ripe. The dry timber of this species is aromatic and pleasantly perfumed.

Fagraea rosenstromii C.T.White, Proceedings of the Royal Society of Queensland 47: 71(1936), Type: Mossman River, Gus. Rosenstrom, No. 7 (mango-like tree, flowers very fragrant). Mossman River Gorge, in rain-forest, L.J. Brass, No. 2054.
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