Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Fontainea picrosperma C.T.White

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
Click/tap on images to enlarge
Male flower. © Stanley Breeen
Leaves and fruit [not vouchered]. © G. Sankowsky
Fruit, two views, cross section and endocarp. © W. T. Cooper
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO

White, C.T. (1933) Contributions from the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University 4: 55. Type: Boonjie, Atherton Tableland, alt. 700 m., common in rain-forest, no. 1262 (type; flowering specimens), Oct. 9 ..

Common name

Fountain's Blushwood; Fontain's Blush


Copious watery red exudate appearing rapidly in the blaze.


Oil dots visible with a lens, almost visible to the naked eye. Leaf blades about 7-15 x 2-5 cm. Petioles shallowly channelled or flattened on the upper surface, the margins angular or slightly winged. Young shoots clothed in pale yellowish hairs. Twig exudate like that in the blaze.


Petals in male flowers about 5-6 mm long and about 7-8 mm long in female flowers. Petals densely white, tomentose. Disk orange. Stigmas ten, radiating like octopus arms.


Fruit about 25 mm long and about 20 mm diam. Endocarp rather thick, stellate in transverse section, often 5-pointed in transverse section.


Cotyledons broadly ovate, about 45-55 x 30-40 mm, 3-veined at the base. At the tenth leaf stage: leaves lanceolate to ovate, apex acuminate, base obtuse, upper surface of leaf blade glabrous; oil dots small, indistinct, visible only with a lens. Seed germination time 26 to 58 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to NEQ, restricted to the Atherton Tableland. Altitudinal range from 700-1100 m. Grows as an understory tree in well developed rain forest.

Natural History & Notes

Fallen fruit eaten by Cassowaries and Musky Rat-kangaroos. Cooper & Cooper (1994).

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