Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Guioa acutifolia Radlk.

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
Click/tap on images to enlarge
Flower and buds. © Barry Jago
Flowers (male ?). © CSIRO
Leaves and Flowers. © CSIRO
Dehiscing fruit. © Stanley Breeden
Dehiscing fruit. © Stanley Breeden
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, hypogeal germination. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO

Radlkofer, L.A.T. (1879) Actes du Congres International de Botanistes .. Amsterdam for 1877 : 81. Type: Port Denison, E. Fitzalan; Rockingham Bay, J. Dallachy; Mossman River, W.Hill.

Common name

Tamarind, Glossy; Northern Guioa; Sharp Leaf Guioa; Glossy Tamarind


Usually flowers and fruits as quite a small tree.


Leaflet stalks quite short and swollen at their junction with the compound leaf rhachis. Leaflet blades about 5.5-17.5 x 1.8-6.5 cm, much paler on the underside. Lateral veins forming loops inside the blade margin. Foveoles inconspicuous, generally no more than one per leaflet near the base.


Calyx lobes about 1.5-2.5 mm long. Petals small, much smaller than the calyx. Each petal with a 2-lobed scale on the inner surface. Stamens eight. Disk green, complete or incomplete.


Capsules 3-lobed, about 10-12 x 12-22 mm overall. Aril completely enclosing the seed. Fruit borne on the branches well back from the leaves or among the leaves.


First pair of leaves with opposite leaflets, margins serrate, petiole and rhachis winged. At the tenth leaf stage: leaflet blades ovate, sessile, margins serrate, teeth fine; leaf blade glabrous or with a few hairs on the upper surface along the midrib; petiole and rhachis of compound leaf winged. Stem glabrous. Rhachis of the compound leaf projecting about 6 mm beyond the final pair of leaflets. Seed germination time 16 to 18 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in CYP, NEQ, CEQ and southwards as far as south-eastern Queensland. Altitudinal range from sea level to 1100 m. Grows in various types of rain forest and wet sclerophyll forest. This species is favoured by disturbance and is a characteristic species in rain forest regrowth particularly where it is advancing into wet sclerophyll forest. Also occurs in New Guinea.

Natural History & Notes

Host plant for butterflies: Prosotas nora auletes, P.dubiosa dubiosa, Rapala varuna simsoni and Nacaduba berenice berenice. Also possibly Udara tenella. Larvae of these species were observed to feed on buds. ( Bob Miller, 2010).

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