Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Gardenia scabrella Puttock

Herb (herbaceous or woody, under 1 m tall)
Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
Click/tap on images to enlarge
Leaves and Flowers. © B. Gray
Leaves and fruit. © G. Sankowsky
Habit and flowers. © CSIRO
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO

Puttock, C.F. (1984) Austrobaileya 2(3): 443. Type: COOK DISTRICT: c. 5 km S of Portland Roads, 28 February 1980, Clarkson 2939 (holo: BRI; iso: K, NSW, PERTH, QRS, UNSW).

Common name

Star Flower


Usually grows into a small tree not exceeding 30 cm dbh but often flowers and fruits as a shrub.


Stipules about 5 mm long, completely encircling the twigs. Young shoots and young stipules often sticky or varnished. Leaf blades about 4.5-12.5 x 1.4-4.6 cm. Hairs present on the upper surface of the leaf blade particularly along the midrib. Domatia are foveoles with hairs at the orifice.


Calyx lobes about 6-12 mm long, corolla lobes about 28-40 mm long. Corolla tube cylindrical. Anthers included in the corolla tube. Stigma pale green.


Fruits elongate-ellipsoid, about 30-65 x 12-18 mm, hexagonal in transverse section and +/- longitudinally ribbed. Seeds pale brown, about 3 x 2 mm, embryo about 1.3 mm long, radicle longer than the cotyledons. Placental pulp cream.


Cotyledons about 8-9 x 7 mm, petioles about 1-1.5 mm long. First pair of leaves about 10-11 x 5-6 mm, apex acute, base cuneate, margin serrate, petiole hairy, about 0.5-1 mm long. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade obovate, margin smooth but densely ciliate-denticulate with the hairs being tough and scabrous, rough to touch, bases tuberculate. Both the upper and lower surfaces of the leaf blade densely clothed in tubercle-based, scabrous, short hairs. Stipules 3-4 mm long, clothed in whitish hairs. Stem densely clothed in spreading, short, stiff hairs. Seed germination time 140 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to CYP. Altitudinal range from sea level to 100 m. Grows on the margins of dry rain forest and monsoon forest and other similar habitats.

Natural History & Notes

This shrub has now been introduced to horticulture in the tropics. A rather dense rounded shrub with showy white flowers.

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