Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Larsenaikia jardinei (F.Muell. ex Benth.) Tirveng.

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
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Flower bud. CC-BY: ATH
Flower [not vouchered]. CC-BY: S. & A. Pearson.
Leaves [not vouchered]. CC-BY: S. & A. Pearson.
Leaves and fruit. CC-BY: ATH.
Trunk [not vouchered]. CC-BY: S. & A. Pearson.

Tirvengadum, D.D. (1993) Larsenaikia, a new genus of the Rubiaceae from Australia. Nordic Journal of Botany 13: 180-181.


Shrub or tree to 15 m tall, up to 27 cm dbh. Bark grey with shallow irregular tessellations or flaky; outer blaze orange, inner blaze fawn to cream.


Leaves simple, opposite or in whorls of three. Stipules conspicuous, 8-10 mm long, completely encircling the twigs, minutely hairy or glabrous outside; colleters present between inner surface of stipule and stem, arising from base of stipule as fingerlike glands. Petiole 1-4 mm long. Leaf blades ovate, obovate or elliptic, 4-12.5 cm long, 3-7 cm wide, base cuneate, margin entire, apex obtuse or acute. Leaves glabrous, domatia present as small foveoles with white hairs at the opening or glabrous.


Inflorescence terminal, flowers solitary or in 2-4 flowered cymes. Flowers apparently bisexual, however it may be that a shortened style length renders some flowers functionally male. Calyx tube (above ovary only) 2-3 mm long, lobes linear and reflexed 3-5 mm long, green; corolla tube narrow 20-40 mm long, glabrous, corolla lobes spreading at 90°, 15-30 mm long, glabrous, white maturing yellow. Anthers partially exserted from the corolla tube. Ovary inferior.


Fruit an ellipsoid drupe, about 25-40 mm long, 20-40 mm diam., calyx lobes persistent. Fruits ± circular in transverse section, glabrous, yellow to green. Seeds numerous, pale brown, 3.2-4.9 cm diameter.


Features not available.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to CEQ, occurs between Mt Elliot and Mackay. Altitudinal range from sea level to 100 m. Grows in open woodland and deciduous vine forest behind mangroves.

Natural History & Notes

There is still some uncertainty around sexuality and breeding strategies in this species. The flowers of the Australian species appear at least superficially hermaphrodite and although Puttock (1994) reports some dimorphism in Larsenaikia ochreata and Larsenaikia suffruticosa further sampling and population studies are needed.

Gardenia jardinei F.Muell. ex Benth., Flora Australiensis 3: 410 (1867), Type: "Queensland. Port Denison and Mount Elliott, Dallachy ." Kailarsenia jardinei (F.Muell. ex Benth.) Puttock. Austrobaileya 3(1): 53-54 (1989).
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