Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition
Helicia australasica F.Muell.
Mueller, F.J.H. von in Hooker, W.J. (1857) Hooker's Journal of Botany & Kew Garden Miscellany 9 : 22. Type: Ad rivulorum ripas in vicinitate montium MAdams Range, 3 Oct. 1855, F. Mueller; holo: K.
Austral Oak; Creek Silky Oak; Oak, Creek Silky
Seldom exceeding 30 cm dbh. Oak grain in the wood and a corresponding red or dark brown pattern in the blaze.
Oak grain in the twigs. Leaf blades about 6-23 x 4-8.5 cm. Petioles swollen at their junction with the twig. Lateral veins forming loops well inside the blade margin.
Tepals about 8-15 mm long, ferruginous-pilose. Ovary ferruginous-tomentose. Ovules 2.
Cotyledons fleshy, without venation. First pair of leaves ovate, margins dentate or serrate, glabrous on the upper surface. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade obovate, apex acute, base attenuate, margin of leaf blade irregular, dentate to serrate, glabrous on the upper surface or with a few scattered hairs along the midrib, midrib raised on the upper surface. Stem clothed in prostrate brown hairs. Seed germination time 12 to 115 days.
Occurs in NT, CYP and NEQ. Altitudinal range from sea level to 1100 m. Grows as an understory tree in monsoon forest, dry rain forest and well developed rain forest. Also occurs in New Guinea.
Not commonly cultivated as yet, however, it does have potential because of the profuse flowering that sometimes occurs.