Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Gymnostoma australianum L.A.S.Johnson

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
Click/tap on images to enlarge
Male flowers. © B. Gray
Fruit. © A. Ford & F. Goulter
Flowers female. © B. Gray
Cones and fruit. © W. T. Cooper
Scale bar 1mm. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage, cotyledon still attached epigeal germination. © CSIRO

Johnson, L.A.S. () Flora of Australia 3: 202. Type: Mt. Alexander [Thornton Peak], Daintree R., alt. 1300 m, Qld, 17 Dec. 1917, S.F.Kajewski 1492; holo: NSW, with cones; iso: A,BO,BRI,K,MEL,NY.

Common name



Oak grain in the wood.


What appear to be needle-like leaves are really twigs and the true leaves (in whorls of four) are just visible to the naked eye when the needles are broken at a joint. Oak grain in the twigs.


Male flowers: Flowers consist of scale-like perianth segments and one stamen. Female flowers: Flowers lack a perianth and the fused carpels usually enclose only two ovules.


Cones about 7-10 x 8-10 mm, with a broad bract beneath each pair of bracteoles. Samaras about 7-8 mm long.


Cotyledons reniform to orbicular, +/- 3-5 mm diam., 3 or 4 veins radiate from the petiole. First leaves minute, triangular, opposite or in a whorl of four. At the tenth leaf stage: leaves minute, triangular, clasping the stem, in whorls of four. Seed germination time 9 to 14 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to NEQ, restricted to Thornton Peak and its environs. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 1350 m. Grows in association with rain forest but usually in situations where full rain forest development is arrested, e.g. along watercourses subject to flood damage or on mountain tops.

RFK Code
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