Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Gomphandra australiana F.Muell.

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
Click/tap on images to enlarge
Flower. © Barry Jago
Fruit, two views, cross section and seed. © W. T. Cooper
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO

Mueller, F.J.H. von (1868) Fragmenta Phytographiae Australiae 6: 3. Type: In silvis insulae Gold-Island et vallis Dalrymples Gap ad sinum litoreum Rockinghams Bay, ubi etiam Erycibe paniculata aut species finitima cres.

Common name

Buff Beech; Beech, Buff


Seldom growing beyond 30 cm dbh. Oak grain in the wood and a corresponding pattern in the inner blaze.


Oak grain usually visible in the twigs. Leaf blades usually fairly large, about 14-21 x 5.5-8.5 cm with about 5-9 pairs of lateral veins. Midrib depressed on the upper surface of the leaf blade. Petiole channelled on the upper surface. Leafy twigs frequently green.


Ovary glabrous without a fleshy lateral appendage. Corolla glabrous, tube about 2.5-3 mm long, lobes about 1 mm long.


Fruits ellipsoid, about 20-25 x 12-15 mm, without a fleshy lateral appendage. Endocarp with about 12-15 longitudinal ridges.


Cotyledons cordate, about 4-6 x 3-4.5 cm, 3-5 veined at the base. At the tenth leaf stage: leaves +/- elliptic, apex shortly acuminate, base obtuse, glabrous on the upper surface, midrib and lateral veins hairy on the undersurface, midrib depressed on the upper surface. Seed germination time 39 to 124 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in CYP and NEQ. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 300 m. Grows as an understory tree in well developed lowland rain forest. Also occurs in New Guinea.

Natural History & Notes

Fruit eaten by Cassowaries and Fruit Pigeons. Cooper & Cooper (1994).

Stemonurus australianus (F.Muell.) Kuntze, Revisio Generum Plantarum 1: 112(1891). Gomphandra polymorpha Wight, Icones Plantarum Indiae Orientalis 3 : t. 9(1845), Type: Condoor, the Avalanche and elsewhere.
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