Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Homalanthus populifolius  Graham

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
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Leaves and flowers. © Australian Plant Image Index (APII). Photographer: M. Fagg.
Fruit. © Australian Plant Image Index (APII). Photographer: M. Fagg.

Graham, R. (1827), Edinburgh New Philosophical Journal 3: 175. Type: "This plant is native of New Holland, from whence we received it by the kindness of Mr Fraser in 1824. It sprung from seeds .."

Common name

Native poplar; Native bleeding heart


Grows into a small tree but also flowers and fruits as a shrub.


Leaf blades about 6.5-11.5 x 5.5-7.5 cm, petioles about 3-9.5 cm. Stipules about 6-18 x 3-5 mm. Lateral veins about 6-10 on each of the midrib. One or two glands visible on the petiole near its junction with the leaf blade. Two or more glands present on the leaf blade close to the point of attachment of the petiole or on other parts of the leaf blade.


Inflorescence about 25 mm long. Male flowers: Flowers on pedicels 1-1.5 mm long, petals absent. Stamens borne on a central receptacle. Filaments very short or absent. Anthers globose, about 1 mm wide. Female flowers: Flowers on pedicels about 7 mm long. Petals absent, styles two, linear, about 2 mm long, arising sub-laterally. Ovary glabrous.


Fruits laterally compressed, about 11 x 7-10 mm, style persistent at the apex. Seeds about 5-6 x 4-5 mm. Testa thick and hard, longitudinally ribbed. Embryo about 2 mm long, cotyledons wider than the radicle.


Cotyledons about 10 x 4 mm, petioles very short or absent. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade peltate, petiole long and slender. Petioles producing a watery milky exudate when cut. Stipules large and conspicuous, about 18-20 mm long, longitudinally veined. Seed germination time 74 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in NEQ, CEQ and southwards as far as north eastern New South Wales. Altitudinal range in NEQ from near sea level to 500 m. Grows in disturbed areas in rain forest. Also occurs on the Pacific islands (Vanuatu, New Caledonia and Fiji.)

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