Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Hymenosporum flavum (Hook.) F.Muell.

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

Mueller, F.J.H. von (1861) Fragmenta Phytographiae Australiae 2: 77.

Common name

Native Frangipani; Frangipani, Native; Queensland Frangipani


An uncommon tree. Usually encountered as a small tree less than 30 cm dbh but recorded to 60 cm dbh. Bark exudate, if present, confined to the inner blaze and rather meagre in volume.


Leaf blades about 6.5-13 x 2-4.5 cm. Lateral veins forming a series of somewhat confused loops well inside the blade margin.


Flowers quite large. Calyx about 7-9 mm long, pubescent outside but glabrous inside. Petals about 40 mm long, pubescent outside but glabrous on the inner surface, held together by interlocking hairs on the margins. Anther filaments hairy on the outer surface.


Capsules somewhat flattened, about 30-40 x 25-30 mm, 2-celled with numerous seeds stacked one above the other in each cell. Seeds flat with a marginal wing. Endosperm flat and could be mistaken for flat cotyledons. Embryo very small, about 0.2-0.3 mm long, cotyledons scarcely discernible.


Cotyledons linear or narrowly obovate, about 15-18 mm long, hairy on both the upper and lower surfaces. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade obovate, apex acute or acuminate, base attenuate, margin dentate to serrate, teeth irregular, upper surface hairy. Petiole hairy. Seed germination time 31 to 67 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in NEQ, CEQ and southwards to coastal central New South Wales. Altitudinal range in NEQ from 300-1000 m. Grows in well developed rain forest on a variety of sites. Also found in New Guinea.

Natural History & Notes

A slender tree extensively cultivated for the large perfumed flowers. Often planted as street trees.

Pittosporum flavum Hook., Curtis's Botanical Magazine 80 : t. 47(1854), Type: Port Stephens, East Australia, Allan Cunningham; Bidwill, Wide Bay district.
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