Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Harpullia ramiflora Radlk.

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
Click/tap on images to enlarge
Female flowers. © CSIRO
Ramiflorous flowers. © CSIRO
Habit, leaves and dehiscing fruit. © CSIRO
Fruit, side view and dehiscing. © W. T. Cooper
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, hypogeal germination. © CSIRO

Radlkofer, L.A.T. (1879) Actes du Congres International de Botanistes .. Amsterdam for 1877 : 124. Type: Indonesia, Aru Islands, Beccari herb 2822. Fide S. T. Reynolds (1985).

Common name

Claudie Tulipwood; Tulipwood, Cape York; Cape York Tulipwood


Lenticels tend to be in horizontal lines. Blaze odour noticeable but difficult to describe, perhaps resembling green beans (Phaseolus vulgaris), cat's urine or yellow passionfruit (Passiflora edulis).


Leaflet blades rather large, about 6.5-40 x 2.5-8.5 cm. Compound leaf rhachis almost circular in transverse section except for a groove on the upper surface.


Calyx clothed in stellate hairs. Petals 9.5-13 mm long, +/- glabrous. Stamens five. Disk pubescent. Stigmatic surfaces two, linear, running down most of the length of the style.


Fruits about 1.2-1.8 cm long, 2-lobed. Calyx persistent, clothed in stellate hairs. Aril almost completely enclosing the seed.


First pair of leaves ovate. At the tenth leaf stage: leaflet blades +/- elliptic, apex acuminate, base cuneate, slightly unequal-sided, upper surface glabrous or with a few hairs along the midrib, veins about 12-16 slightly depressed on the upper surface. Seed germination time 21 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs naturally in CYP. Naturalised in NEQ, widely naturalised in rainforests around Cairns and often the dominant species in regrowth between Smithfield and Edmonton (pers. com. R. Jago, 2013). Altitudinal range from sea level to 100 m. Grows in gallery forest and other types of rain forest. Also occurs in Malesia.

Natural History & Notes

A distinctive small tree that is being cultivated in tropical gardens.It is easy to grow and produces panicles of bright red fruits.

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