Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Gmelina leichhardtii (F.Muell.) Benth.

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Leaves and flowers [not vouchered]. CC-BY: S. & A. Pearson.
Leaves and fruit [not vouchered]. CC-BY: S. & A. Pearson.

Bentham, G. (1870), Flora Australiensis 5: 66.

Common name

White Beech, Native Beech, Grey Teak


Tree up to 40 m high, semi-deciduous. Trunk buttressed in larger trees; bark flaky or fissured, grey to dark grey. Young shoots and terminal buds densely clothed in brown hairs. Stems remaining hairy or becoming hairless. Young twigs square or rectangular in cross section.


Leaves opposite and decussate, simple. Stipules absent. Petioles 1.5-6 cm long, channelled above, densely hairy. Leaf blade ovate to broad ovate, narrow-elliptic to elliptic, 6-21 cm long, 4-18 cm wide, base cuneate or obtuse, margins entire, rarely toothed, apex acute, acuminate or obtuse. Domatia absent. Upper leaf surface hairless except sometimes with hairs on leaf veins, lower surface densely hairy with woolly hairs, very small and obscure peltate scales present. A few small, flat glands generally visible on the underside towards the lower third of the leaf blade along the midrib. Leaves with 5-10 pairs of lateral veins.


Inflorescence a cymose panicle, terminal. Flowers bisexual, (4-) 5-merous, zygomorphic. Sepals 5, fused for more than half their length, calyx tube 4-6 mm long, 3-6 mm diam, lobes triangular, up to 0.2 mm long, apex acute; brown, pubescent, black discoid glands present, persistent in fruit. Petals 5, fused, upper lip 2-lobed and lower lip 3-lobed (central lobe the longest), 15-25 mm long, upper lip mostly white, lower lip white in throat with purple lobes and two yellow spots. Stamens 4, outer pair long and inner pair short, attached to petals and exserted. Ovary superior, 4-locular (sparsely pubescent). Style long, exserted, stigma bifid, one stigma much longer than the other.


Fruit a fleshy drupe, ± depressed-globose, 11-20 mm long, 15-25 mm diam. Mature fruit shiny blue to purple. Stone solitary, hard-walled, 4-locular; seeds 1-4. Fruiting calyx 10-20 mm.


Features not available.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in CEQ, from Mt Elliott south of Townsville, southwards to near Nowra, New South Wales. Collected from rainforest and littoral rainforest, 0-900 m.

Natural History & Notes

This profile information and associated coding has been adapted from Cooper & Cooper (2004, Kok, R. de (2012),and Harden et al. (2014).

Vitex leichhardtii F.Muell., Fragmenta Phytographiae Australiae 3(19): 58, (1862). Type: "In silvis ad amnem Myall Creek Australiae orientalis subtropicae; Dr. Ludwig Leichhardt. Ad flumen Clarence River; Dr. Hermann Beckler." Tectona australis W.Hill. Specimens of woods indigenous to Queensland. Catalogue of the Natural and Industrial Products of Queensland: 20, (1862). Type: "It is found in small quantities in the scrubs bordering rivers."
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