Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Flueggea virosa subsp. melanthesoides (F.Muell.) G.L.Webster

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
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Flowers. CC-BY J.L. Dowe
Habit, leaves and fruit. © CSIRO
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO

Webster, G.L. (1984) Allertonia 3:4: 294.

Common name

White Currant; Snowball Bush


Usually flowers and fruits as a shrub about 1-4 m tall.


Leaves produced on long shoots not on short lateral shoots from the main twigs. Leaf blades about 3.5-6.5 x 2-3.5 cm. Petiole grooved or channelled on the upper surface. Stipules triangular, about 2 mm long. Larger twigs longitudinally grooved or ribbed.


Flowers about 10-20 per fascicle. Flowers about 2 mm diam., pedicels about 3-4 mm long. Apex of the perianth lobes slightly fimbriate. Anthers about 0.4-0.7 mm long, filaments interspersed with five green glands. Ovary seated on a thin disk. Stigmas three, each ending in two or more lobes.


Fruits +/- globular, almost pure white when mature. Tepals persistent at the base of the fruit and styles persistent at the apex. Cotyledons slightly wider than the radicle.


Cotyledons about 5-9 x 3-4 mm. At the tenth leaf stage: leaves pale or whitish on the underside. Lateral veins forming loops inside the blade margin. Petiole grooved or channelled on the upper surface. Stipules narrowly triangular, rather small and inconspicuous, less than 1 mm long, usually with some reddish brown hairs on the margin. Seed germination time 29 to 213 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in WA, NT, CYP, NEQ, CEQ and southwards as far as south-eastern Queensland. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 400 m. Grows in open forest, vine thickets and monsoon forest. Also occurs in New Guinea.

Securinega obovata (Willd.) Mull.Arg., Prodromus 15(2.: 449(1866). Securinega melanthesoides (F.Muell.) Airy Shaw var. melanthesoides, Kew Bulletin 35: 588(1980). Flueggea melanthesoides (F.Muell.) F.Muell., Transactions of the Botanical Society Endinburgh 7 : 490(1863). Leptonema melanthesoides F.Muell., Hooker's Journal of Botany & Kew Garden Miscellany 9 : 17(1857), Type: Hab. secus flumen Victoriae frequens.
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