Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Gossia floribunda (A.J.Scott) N.Snow & Guymer

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
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Flower. © Barry Jago
Flowers. © CSIRO
Leaves and Flowers. © CSIRO
Leaves and fruits. © CSIRO
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Cotyledon and 1st leaf stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO

Snow, N. & Guymer, G.P. (2003) Sustematic Botany Monographs 65: 72.

Common name

Cape Ironwood; Lignum


Bark very pale brown but in patches giving a piebald appearance. Living bark layer very thin, about 1 mm.


Oil dots visible with a lens. Midrib raised on the upper surface. Leaf blades about 4-7 x 2-3 cm.


Petals and calyx lobes glabrous adaxially, margins fimbriate. Petals about 3-4 mm long with about 60 oil dots per petal.


Fruits globular or depressed globular, about 6-7 mm diam., calyx lobes persistent at the apex. Embryo coiled and/or twisted with the cotyledons +/- in the middle of the spiral. Cotyledons much more slender than the radicle.


Cotyledons ovate to elliptic, about 10-18 x 4-5 mm; stipules present. Intramarginal vein present. Oil dots very small, visible with a lens. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade elliptic, midrib distinctly raised on the upper surface. Stem longitudinally ribbed at least near the apex. Seed germination time 6 to 23 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in CYP and NEQ. Altitudinal range from sea level to 200 m. Grows as an understory tree in a variety of forest types including gallery forest, monsoon forest, dry rain forest and beach forest. Also occurs in New Guinea.

Natural History & Notes

A smooth barked shrub or small tree deserving a place in tropical gardens. The small white flowers are produced in abundance.

Austromyrtus floribunda (A.J.Scott) Guymer, Austrobaileya 2(5): 569(1988). Backhousea floribunda A.J.Scott, Kew Bulll. 39: 659(1984), Type: Papua, Middle Fly River, Kwinia Ck, 21 Oct 1967, R. Pullen 7510; holo: K; iso: BRI, G, L.
RFK Code
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