Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Garcinia gibbsiae S.Moore

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
Click/tap on images to enlarge
Female flower. CC-BY: W. Cooper.
Male flower. CC-BY: W. Cooper.
Fruit, side view and transverse section. © W. T. Cooper
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, hypogeal germination. © CSIRO

Moore, S. le M. (1917) The Journal of Botany 55 : 302. Type: Bellenden Ker, forest on long ridge; n. 6306. [L.S. Gibbs].

Common name

Mountain Mangosteen


Tree to 12 m, seldom exceeding 30 cm dbh. Exudate bright lime-yellow. Dioecious.


Petioles and twigs produce a yellow exudate. Petioles 8-20 mm long. Leaf blades 6.5-20 cm long x 3-9.3 cm wide; oblong-elliptic, ovate, oblanceolate, elliptic or elliptic-obovate; margin thickened and sometime remotely recurved. More than 30 lateral veins on each side of the midrib.


Male inflorescences terminal or axillary, a solitary flower, pairs or 2-8-flowered raceme. Male flowers: 17-46 mm diam., pedicels absent or to 2.7 mm long; sepals 4, 2-whorled, outer pair joined, D-shaped, 5-8 mm long x 7-9 mm wide, inner pair free, orbicular 5.5-7 mm long x 8-10.5 mm wide; petals 4 (rarely 3), free, orbicular, 11-20 mm long x 11-20 mm wide; stamens aggregated into 4 fused phalanges forming one +/- rhombic mass. Female inflorescence terminal, solitary or 2-flowered. Female flowers: 15-22 mm diam.; sepals 4, 2-whorled, outer pair narrowly-joined, D-shaped, 5-6.5 mm long x 8-10 mm wide, inner pair free, orbicular, 14-17 mm long x 11-15 mm wide; petals 4, free, orbicular, 14-17 mm long x 11-15 mm wide; staminodal phalanges 4, free or adjacent pairs fused, 2.5-5 mm long x 3-3.5 mm wide; stigma sessile, domed, 7-9-rayed.


Fruits a semi-dry berry, +/- top-shaped, depressed globular or depressed ovoid, about 30 x 62 mm. Calyx lobes four, persistent. Stigma persistent. Seeds 1-4 per locule, about 10-18 mm long x 7-11 mm wide; aril absent.


Leaves and roots arise from shoots at opposite ends of the seed. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade narrowly elliptic, apex acuminate, base cuneate, glabrous, more than 30 lateral veins on each side of the midrib; small flat glands on the stem near the base of the petioles; raised trough-like appendages on the base of the petiole between the petiole and stem; exudate yellow, slow to appear. Stipules small, black, triangular about 1 mm long. Midrib raised on the upper surface. Seed germination time 70 to 456 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to NEQ, restricted to Mt Bartle Frere, the Bellenden Ker Range to Downey Creek near Innisfail and west to Boonjie-Topaz area. Altitudinal range from 120-1160 m. Grows in well developed upland and mountain rain forest.

Natural History & Notes

Seeds eaten by King Parrots and fallen fruit eaten by Cassowaries and Musky Rat-kangaroos. Cooper & Cooper (1994).

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