Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Lethedon setosa (C.T.White) Kosterm.

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

Kostermans, A.G.J.H. (1963) Botieskij Zhurnal (Moscow & Leningrad) 48: 832.


Seldom exceeding 30 cm dbh. Blaze very fibrous.


Young shoots and young leaf bearing twigs densely clothed in pale brown or yellowish brown prostrate hairs. Twig bark strong and fibrous when stripped, emitting a somewhat unpleasant odour. Leaf blades about 7.5-19 x 2.5-7 cm, densely hairy on the underside. Midrib depressed and lateral veins scarcely visible on the upper surface.


Inflorescence not strictly axillary, but lateral on the twigs sometimes almost opposite a leaf. Tepals about 7-8 x 6 mm, the outer surface clothed in fine, white, prostrate hairs, inner surface +/- glabrous. Stamens fused into about 10-12 bundles. Ovary hairy.


Capsules globular, about 15-20 mm diam., usually 6-celled, densely setose on the outer surface. Seeds about 5-8 x 4 mm.


Cotyledons oblong or elliptic, 12-15 mm long, hairy on both the upper and lower surfaces. First pair of leaves elliptic, about 12-15 x 8-10 mm, clothed in long pale hairs on both the upper and lower surfaces. At the tenth leaf stage: leaves obovate, apex shortly acuminate, base cuneate to attenuate, upper surface hairy along the midrib; petiole, terminal bud and stem densely clothed in long, pale to golden hairs. Seed germination time 557 to 606 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to NEQ. Altitudinal range from 100-1000 m. Grows as an understory tree in well developed rain forest on a variety of sites.

Microsemma setosa C.T.White, Contr. Arnold Arb. 4: 69(1933), Type: Streets Creek, Kuranda, 26 Dec 1929, R. H. Doggrell.
RFK Code
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