Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Hovea nitida I.Thomps.

Herb (herbaceous or woody, under 1 m tall)
Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
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Leaves and Flowers. © B. Gray
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO

Thompson, I.R. (2001) Australian Systematic Botany 14: 76. Type: Queensland, Property R. A. Portess, Chilverton, between Atherton & Ravenshoe, 22 Oct. 1987, Foreman, D. B. 1884; holo: MEL; iso: BRI, MEL, QRS.

Common name

Long-leaf Hovea; Hovea, Long-leaf; Purple Bush Pea


Grows to a height of about 3 m but often flowers and fruits when 1-2 m tall.


Twigs densely clothed in dark brown hairs. Stipules small and inconspicuous. Leaf blades about 5-6 x 0.7 mm, about 6-8 times as long as wide. Lateral veins, visible on the upper surface but scarcely visible on the lower surface, forming an angle of almost 90 with the midrib. Midrib conspicuously depressed on the upper surface.


Calyx green but the colour completely obscured by a dense covering of brown hairs which extend to the inner surface of the calyx lobes. Standard about 5 mm long, shorter than the wings. Anther filaments fused to form a cylinder, open on one side. Longer stamens with basifixed non-versatile anthers, shorter stamens with dorsifixed versatile anthers. Ovary and the lower part of the style clothed in brown hairs.


Fruits about 11 x 7 mm, usually longer than wide, without a stipe, inner and outer surface clothed in pale brown tortuous hairs. Calyx remnants enclosing the base of the fruit. Seeds brown. Hilum fringed with a pale structure resembling large lips, cotyledons cream.


Cotyledons thick and fleshy, about 6-8 x 3 mm, grooved or channelled on the underside, base strongly sagittate. Stem above the cotyledons hairy. First pair of leaves +/- obovate. Terminal bud densely clothed in white or very pale brown hairs. At the tenth leaf stage: upper surface of the leaf blade glabrous except for the midrib, underside densely clothed in matted white hairs. Petiole, stem and terminal bud clothed in pale brown hairs. Stipules filiform or linear, hairy, about 1-1.5 m long. Seed germination time 17 to 44 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to Australia, occurs in NEQ and CEQ. Altitudinal range in NEQ from 600-1200 m. Usually grows in open forest or wet sclerophyll forest but occasionally found on the edge of rain forest or monsoon forest.

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