Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Guettarda speciosa L.

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
Click/tap on images to enlarge
Flowers [not vouchered]. CC-BY J.L. Dowe
Flowers. © B. Gray
Leaves and flowers. © B. Gray
Immature fruit. © CSIRO
Fruit, three views and endocarp. © W. T. Cooper
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO
1st leaf stage, bird's eye view. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Cotyledon and 1st leaf stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO

Linnaeus, C. von (1753) Species Plantarum 2: 991. Type: Habitat in Java.

Common name

Sea Randia; Zebra Wood


Occasionally grows into a tree but usually flowers and fruits as a shrub about 2-5 m tall.


Leaf blades usually rather large, about 10-23 x 10-17 cm. Petioles about 1.8-3.5 cm long. Stipules very broadly lanceolate, about 10-20 mm long, +/- longitudinally veined. Petioles clothed in pale coloured hairs. Twigs marked by numerous pale coloured lenticels.


Flowers usually strongly perfumed. Peduncles about 5-10 cm long but individual flowers sessile. Calyx about 5-6 mm long, pubescent on the outer surface, often with a solitary lobe. Corolla tube about 17-35 mm long, throat (i.e. inner surface near apex) hairy, lobes about 10-15 mm long. Anthers about 2-3.5 mm long, sessile.


Fruits sessile, +/- globose, about 15-25 mm diam., surface smooth, pericarp fibrous. Seeds about 4-6 per individual fruit. Cotyledons very short, not exceeding the diameter of the radicle and certainly much shorter.


Cotyledons obovate or spathulate, sessile, about 4-6 x 1.5-2 mm, stipulate. Stipules about 2 mm long. Hypocotyl long and slender. First pair of leaves pubescent, opposite, stipulate. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade +/- lanceolate, about 5.5-6.5 x 2-3 cm, pubescent on both the upper and lower surfaces, stipules large, about 9-10 mm long, broadly lanceolate, hairy on the outer surface and +/- longitudinally veined. Petiole about 1 cm long. Seed germination time 53 to 607 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in NT, CYP, NEQ and CEQ. Altitudinal range quite small being found just above sea level. Grows in beach forest and strand vegetation. Also occurs in Africa, Asia, Malesia and the Pacific islands.

Natural History & Notes

This species may have medicinal properties.

RFK Code
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