Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Graptophyllum ilicifolium (F.Muell.) F.Muell. ex Benth.

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
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Leaf and bud [not vouchered]. CC-BY: S. & A. Pearson.
Inflorescence [not vouchered]. CC-BY: S. & A. Pearson.
Flower and stamens. CC-BY: APII, ANBG.
Leaf and immature fruit. CC-BY: APII, ANBG.
Fruit. CC-BY: S. & A. Pearson.

Bentham, G. (1868), Flora Australiensis 4: 552.

Common name

Mount Blackwood Holly


Usually a shrub up to 5 m high, although recorded up to 6 and 10 m tall. Axillary spines generally absent although spines present on some nodes in juveniles. Stems hairless, longitudinally ridged to ± 4-angled.


Leaves opposite and decussate, simple, unequal in size at each node. Stipules absent. Petioles 0.1-0.5 cm long, disarticulating from the stem along an abscission line, node swollen below abscission line. Leaf blade ovate to broad ovate or elliptic, 3-11 cm long, 0.7-5.5 cm wide, base cuneate, margins toothed (teeth spinose), apex acute, acuminate or obtuse with spinose mucro. Domatia absent. Leaf surfaces hairless, cystoliths prominent on upper surface, round gland dots moderately distributed on lower surface, occasional cystoliths present along lateral veins. Lateral veins, 7-11 pairs, forming loops inside the blade margin.


Inflorescences axillary, flowers solitary or in few-flowered clusters or racemes. Flowers bisexual, 5-merous, zygomorphic. Sepals 5, fused basally, 5-9 mm long, lobes linear to narrowly triangular, apex subulate; persistent in fruit. Petals 5, fused, upper lip 2-lobed or shortly notched and lower lip 3-lobed, often prominently recurved, 3-3.5 cm long, deep pink-red. Stamens 2, attached to petals and exserted from tube but not past upper lip; anther connective not extending beyond the anthers. Staminodes 2, enclosed in the corolla tube. Ovary superior, 2-locular. Style long, not exserted past upper lip, stigma very shortly bifid.


Fruit a dry capsule, club-shaped but acuminate at apex, 1.5-2.8 cm long. Fruiting calyx persistent. Mature fruit brown. Seeds 4, flattened, with curved longitudinal grooves all over. Fruit dehiscing to explosively shed seeds.


Features not available.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to Queensland, occurs in CEQ, mostly known from a number of localities around Mackay and Airlie Beach, with a few collections recorded further south around Rockhampton and Miriam Vale. Altitudinal range 80 m to 160 m in fairly dry rainforest areas or along creek banks.

Natural History & Notes

This profile information and associated coding has been adapted from Barker (1986), and Harden et al. (2014).

Graptophyllum earlii var. ilicifolium F.Muell., Fragmenta Phytographiae Australiae 6(43): 87 (1867). Type: "J. Nernst" Lectotype: "Nernst s.n., s. dat. Port Mackay, Mount Blackwood (MEL 601937); isolectotype: (MEL 601938); possible syntypes or isolectotypes: Anon 13, s. dat., Mount Blackwood (MEL); Nernst s.n., s. dat. Mount Blackwood (K)." Barker, R.M.  Journal of the Adelaide Botanic Gardens 9: 163, (1986).
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