Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Gossia hillii (Benth.) N.Snow & Guymer

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Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO

Snow, N. & Guymer, G. P. (2003) Systematic Botany Monographs 65: 50.

Common name

Hill's Ironwood; Hill's Lignum; Scaly Myrtle


A small tree not exceeding 30 cm dbh, sapwood surface sometimes corrugated.


Oil dots visible with a lens if not visible to the naked eye. Leaf blades about 2.5-4.5 x 1.5-2.5 cm. Midrib raised on the upper surface and petiole channelled on the upper surface. Leafy twigs about 1 mm diam. Small, dark stipules or stipule-like appendages visible on the younger twigs.


Peduncles long and slender and are usually assumed to be pedicels. Calyx tube (hypanthium) clothed in pale prostrate hairs. Sepals about 1.5 mm long, pubescent adaxially, margins fimbriate, petals +/- glabrous except for the fimbriate margin. Petals about 2-3 mm long, about 20 oil dots per petal.


Fruits globular, about 8-9 mm diam., calyx lobes persistent at the apex. Testa relatively thick, hard and horny. Embryo coiled with the cotyledons +/- in the middle of the spiral. Cotyledons much more slender than the radicle.


Cotyledons elliptic to ovate, about 10-12 x 3-4 mm; stipules present. Oil dots clearly visible with a lens particularly towards the margin. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade narrowly ovate or elliptic, +/- sessile. Intramarginal vein not distinct. Stem strongly 4-angled to almost winged.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to Australia, occurs in CYP, NEQ, CEQ and southwards as far as north-eastern New South Wales. Altitudinal range in NEQ from 700-1000 m. Grows as an understory tree in well developed upland and mountain rain forest.

Natural History & Notes

This shrub or small tree is already widely cultivated for its dense growth habit and glossy leaves.

Austromyrtus hillii (Benth.) Burret, Notizblatt des Botanischen Gartens und Museums zu Berlin-Dahlem 15(3): 501(1941). Myrtus hillii Benth., Fllora Australiensis 3: 275(1867), Type: Queensland, Moreton Bay, E.F.A. Fitzalan s.n.; Lecto: K; Isolecto: MEL. Myrtus opaca C.T. White, Proceedings Royal Society Queensland 53: 218(1942), Type: Queensland, C.T. White 9592; Holo: BRI. Austromyrtus opaca (C.T. White) L.S. Smith, Proceeding Royal Society Queensland 67: 35(1956).
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