Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Harnieria hygrophiloides (F.Muell.) R.M.Barker

Herb (herbaceous or woody, under 1 m tall)
Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
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Flowers. © G. Sankowsky
Leaves and Flowers. © CSIRO
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO

Barker, R.M. (1996) Jour. Adelaide Bot. Gard. 17: 149.


Usually flowers and fruits as a shrub about 1 m tall.


Leaf blades about 2.5-11.5 x 1-3 cm. Petioles about 2-6 mm long. Twigs often grooved above the petioles to the next node. Twigs rather pithy, puberulous. Lateral veins curving but not forming definite loops inside the blade margin.


Inflorescence consists of flowers arising from sessile clusters of 2-4 obcordate bracts in each axil. Peduncles persistent on the older twigs. Calyx segments linear-lanceolate, about 8.5-10 mm long. Corolla 2-lipped (one lip 3-lobed and the other 2-lobed) white or cream with purple markings, tube about 7 mm long, hairy inside particularly towards the base. Two sack-like nectaries usually apparent on the inner surface. Stamens exserted, filaments about 6 mm long. Anthers with one tailed locule and one locule without a tail, locules quite separate, superposed. Connective clothed in bristles. Ovary ellipsoid, surrounded by a 2-lobed glandular disk, glabrous. Style hairy particularly in the lower half. Stigma slightly notched or 2-lobed at the apex.


Two large bilobed bracts present at the base of each cluster of fruits. Calyx green, persistent and extending from the base to about 3/4 the length of the capsule. Capsule smooth, ellipsoid, about 8-10.5 mm long. Seeds 2-4 per capsule, each seed about 2 x 1.7 mm, +/- disk-shaped, testa colliculate, yellow initially, dark brown later. Embryo bent in the middle so the radicle and cotyledons lie side by side.


Cotyledons orbicular to obovate, about 6-11 x 5-8 mm, apex emarginate. Hairs on the hypocotyl arranged in vertical rows. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf margins slightly crenate. Stems with grooves running from the base of each petiole to the next lower pair of leaves. Stem clothed in very short, pale, prostrate hairs. Seed germination time 59 to 91 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to Australia, occurs in NEQ, CEQ and southwards to north-eastern New South Wales. Altitudinal range from 500-1040 m. Usually grows in the drier types of rain forest and wet sclerophyll forests adjacent to rain forest. Possibly occurs in New Guinea.

Calophanoides hygrophiloides (F.Muell.) R.M.Barker, Journal of the Adelaide Botanic Gardens 9: 237(1986). Justicia hygrophiloides F.Muell., Fragm. Phyt. Austral. 6: 89(1867), Type: Queensland, Top of Coast Range, Rockingham Bay, J. Dallachy s.n.; lecto: MEL 601975. Fide Barker (1986).
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