Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Harungana madagascariensis Lam. ex Poir.

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
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Flower. © Barry Jago
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO

Lamarck, J.B.A.P. de Monnet de in Lamarck, J.B.A.P. de Monnet de & Poiret, J.L.M. (1796) Tableau Encyclopedique et Methodique 4(1): t. 645. Type: Madagascar.

Common name

Harungana; Haronga


Bark exudate orange.


Leaf blades about 7-14 x 2.5-5.5 cm. Petioles and twigs produce an orange exudate. Oil dots dark. Leaf blade underside covered with stellate hairs or scales.


Flowers small, about 5-6 mm diam. Sepals marked by maroon dots and streaks. Stamens fused into five bundles, usually two or three stamens per bundle, but single stamens may also occur. Ovary marked by dark glandular spots.


Fruits small, +/- globular, about 3 mm diam. Calyx persistent, marked by glandular dots and streaks. Endocarp hard, difficult to cut.


Cotyledons broadly spathulate, margins marked with dark 'oil' glands, petioles relatively long and slender. At the tenth leaf stage: 'oil' glands very dark, visible in transmitted light and on the underside of the leaf blade; terminal bud densely clothed in tortuous rusty brown hairs. Seed germination time 20 days.

Distribution and Ecology

An introduced species, originally from Africa or Madagascar, now naturalised in the Harvey Creek, Babinda and Mirriwinni areas of NEQ. Altitudinal range from near sea level to about 100 m. This species has become quite common in disturbed coastal lowland rain forest and has the capacity to spread further. This species does not produce edible fruit and has no apparent use. The reasons for its introduction into Australia are not obvious.

Natural History & Notes

This species can be a troublesome weed in lowland areas in NEQ. The reasons for its introduction have never been obvious. It does not have any obvious horticultural merit as both the flowers and fruits are small and the timber has no obvious merit. The plant grows in an area where other plants with a Madagascan origin appear to have become naturalised. The precise point of introduction may have been Frenchman Creek where a family from Mauritius settled in 1883. Harungana madagascariensis does have medicinal properties (American Botanical Council 16-8-2000) & (EMMANUEL ASUQUO OBOT and GABRIEL OGAR (1996) ( 16-8-2000)).

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