Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Helicia nortoniana (F.M.Bailey) F.M.Bailey

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
Click/tap on images to enlarge
Flowers and buds. © Barry Jago
Leaves and fruit. © CSIRO
Fruit, many views and cross section. © W. T. Cooper
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO

Bailey, F.M. (1901) The Queensland Flora 4: 1328.

Common name

Norton's Oak


Seldom exceeding 30 cm dbh. Oak grain in the wood and a corresponding pattern in the inner blaze.


Oak grain in the twigs. Leaf blades about 5.5-14 x 2-7.5 cm. Lateral veins forming loops well inside the blade margin. Young shoots and younger leaf bearing twigs densely clothed in dark or rusty brown hairs.


Tepals about 8.5 mm long, ferruginous-tomentose. Ovary rufous-tomentose. Ovules 2.


Fruits ovoid, about 10-13 x 8-10 mm. Seed about 6 x 5 mm.


Cotyledons fleshy, without venation. First pair of leaves ovate, apex acuminate, margins dentate, a few hairs present on the upper surface. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade elliptic to obovate, apex obtuse to acute, base attenuate, margin dentate, hairy on the upper surface at least along the midrib, midrib raised on the upper surface of the leaf blade; petiole, terminal bud and stem clothed in dark reddish brown hairs. Seed germination time 20 to 53 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to NEQ, widely distributed throughout the area. Altitudinal range from sea level to 850 m. Grows as an understory tree in well developed lowland and upland rain forest on a variety of sites.

Natural History & Notes

Fruit eaten by Fruit Pigeons. Cooper & Cooper (1994).

Cyanocarpus nortoniana F.M.Bailey, Botany of the Bellenden-Ker Expedition (in Meston: Report of the Government Scientific Expedition to Bellenden-Ker Range) : 55(1889), Type: Tringilburra Creek and creeks off Russell River, F. M. Bailey s.n. Helicia tropica (Bailey) Domin, Bibliotheca Botanica 89(4): 584(1928). Helicia ferruginea var. tropica F.M.Bailey, Comprehensive Catalogue of Queensland Plants : 452(1913), Type: Johnstone River, northeast Queensland, Johnson, s.n. (holotypus MEL).
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