Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Gymnanthera oblonga (Burm.f.) P.S.Green

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Flower. CC-BY J.L. Dowe
Flowers. © CSIRO
Leaves and fruit. © CSIRO
Leaves and Flowers. © CSIRO
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Cotyledon and 1st leaf stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Vine stem bark and vine stem transverse section. © CSIRO

Green, P.S. (1992) Kew Bulletin 47(2): 333.

Common name

Harpoon Bud


Vine stem diameters to 4 cm recorded. Bark exudate rapid and copious. Blaze odour perhaps similar to that of cod liver oil.


Twigs, petioles and leaves produce a milky exudate. Leaf blades about 4-9 x 1.5-4 cm, much paler on the underside, petioles about 1-2 cm long. Lateral veins about 6-13 on each side of the midrib. Small stipule-like glands about 0.5 mm long visible on the twigs between the attachment points of the petioles. Older twigs marked by obvious lenticels.


Flowers about 20 mm diam. on pedicels about 15 mm long. Sepals imbricate, about 1.5-2.5 mm long. Five rounded scale-like glands are present between the sepals and the petals, and alternating with the sepals. Corolla tube about 9-14 mm long, flared at the apex, lobes about 7-10 x 4-5 mm. Stamens inserted in the throat of the corolla tube. Anthers with a terminal appendage. Pollinia, two per locule. Carpels free above the base but fused at the base and also at the apex to form a common style. Ovules numerous in each carpel.


Fruits about 8.5 x 0.5 cm. Seeds numerous, each seed about 7 mm long. Plumes about 13 mm long. Embryo straight.


Cotyledons oblong, about 17 x 3 mm, petioles held almost parallel to the stem. Hypocotyl shortly hairy. First pair of leaves narrowly elliptic, apex acute, base +/- attenuate, petiole and basal part of the midrib clothed with a few hairs. Petioles held +/- parallel to the stem. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade narrowly oblong, elliptic or lanceolate, apex acute, base cuneate. Midrib +/- flush with the upper surface. Stipule-like glands about 0.5 mm long present in the leaf axils. Colleters absent. Seed germination time 26 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in WA, NT, CYP, NEQ, CEQ and southwards almost to south-eastern Queensland. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 250 m. Usually grows close to sea level frequently near the mangroves just above the tide levels. Also grows on some inland streams far removed from the sea. Also found in SE Asia and Malesia.

Natural History & Notes

A food source of the larval stages of the Australian Crow and Eichhorn's Crow Butterflies. Common & Waterhouse (1981).

Jasminum oblongum Burm. f., Fl. Indica : 6(1768), Type: Java, Garcin; holo: G. Fide P. S. Green (1992) Kew Bull. 47:333. Gymnanthera nitida R.Br., Prodromus Florae Novae Hollandiae : 464(1810), Type: QLD, Sweers Island, Gulf of Carpentaria, 17 Nov. 1802, R. Brown; lecto: BM; iso: CANB.
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