Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Helicteres semiglabra (F.Muell.) F.Muell. ex F.M.Bailey

Herb (herbaceous or woody, under 1 m tall)
Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
Click/tap on images to enlarge
Flower. © G. Sankowsky
Flowers. © G. Sankowsky
Leaves. © G. Sankowsky
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO

Bailey, F.M. (1899) The Queensland Flora 1: 142.


Usually flowers and fruits as a shrub about 1-2 m tall.


Twigs, petioles and lower surface of the leaf blade densely clothed in small stellate hairs. Leaf blades about 3-13 x 1.1-2.5 cm. Upper leaf blade surface +/- glabrous. Stipules filiform, about 4-6 mm long. Twig bark strong and fibrous when stripped.


Inflorescence consists of fascicles of two or 3-flowered umbels or cymes. Pedicels short, about 1 mm long. Calyx stellate hairy on the outer surface, tube about 3 mm long, lobes about 1 mm long. Petals about 6 mm long, clawed with two appendages about the mid point. Basal part of the petal limb clothed in dense hairs. Ovary and stamens borne at the apex of a stalk about 4 mm long. Stamens ten, staminodes five, alternating with each pair of stamens. Anther locules one above the other. Pollen white.


Fruit 5-locular, about 7-18 mm long. Outer surface densely clothed in stellate hairs and trichomes which are clothed in stellate hairs. Calyx persistent at the base. Cotyledons rolled and contorted. Seeds about 1.5 mm diam., testa surface textured.


Cotyledons orbicular, about 4-10 mm diam., apex retuse or emarginate, upper surface hairy. First pair of leaves +/- orbicular, base cordate, margin toothed, both the upper and lower surfaces hairy. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade variable, lanceolate, elliptic or obovate, base cordate, 5-7 veins radiating from the base. Upper surface clothed in long simple hairs, lower surface densely clothed in short, mostly stellate, hairs. Margin with about 15-20 teeth on each side, more numerous towards the apex. Stipules linear, about 4 mm long, densely clothed in stellate hairs. Taproot thickened, carrot-like (Daucus carota). Seed germination time 171 to 198 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to Australia, occurs in CYP, NEQ and CEQ. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 550 m. Grows as an understory plant in open eucalypt forest, vine thickets and monsoon forest.

Helicteres semiglabra F.M.Bailey var. semiglabra, The Queensland Flora 1: 142(1899). Methorium semiglabrum F.Muell., Fragm. Phytog. Aust. 5: 43(1865), Type: Queensland, Rockingham Bay, J. Dallachy; holo: MEL?.
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