Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Lithomyrtus obtusa (Endl.) N.Snow & Guymer

Herb (herbaceous or woody, under 1 m tall)
Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
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Habit, leaves and flowers. © CSIRO
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO

Snow, N. & Guymer, G.P. (1999) Austrobaileya 5(2): 194.

Common name

Beach Myrtella


Usually flowers and fruits as a shrub about 1-2 m tall.


Leaf blades about 15-45 x 6-15 mm, margins recurved. Terminal buds, young leafy twigs and underside of leaves clothed in tortuous white or light brown hairs. Oil dots difficult to distinguish even with a lens but usually visible from the upper surface.


Calyx tube (hypanthium) clothed in silver hairs, calyx lobes reflexed, with the tips almost touching the hypanthium at anthesis. Petals about 7-8 mm long.


Fruits about 9-10 mm long. Calyx lobes about 3 mm long, reflexed, persistent at the apex of the fruit. Cotyledons rolled, much wider than the radicle. Seeds arranged one above the other in the fruit.


Cotyledons linear, about 20-22 x 2 mm, slightly hairy on the upper surface. First pair of leaves linear, opposite. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade linear, apex acute, base attenuate, margin recurved. Leaf blade underside clothed in matted white gossamer-like hairs. Petiole very short. Stem and terminal bud clothed in white or pale coloured hairs. Seed germination time 25 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in CYP, NEQ, CEQ and southwards as far as south-eastern Queensland. Altitudinal range in northern Australia from near sea level to about 100 m. Usually grows on sand dunes close to the sea and the vegetation can be open forest, vine thickets, low closed forest or monsoon forest. Also occurs in New Guinea.

Natural History & Notes

A beautiful small shrub well worthy of cultivation. Does best in well drained coastal soils and healthy plants cover themselves in pink to purple flowers.

Myrtella obtusa (Endl.) A.J.Scott, Kew Bulletin 33: 300(1978). Fenzlia obtusa Endl., Ataka Bot. 19: t.17(1834), Type: Queensland, Between Curtis & Facing Islands, F.L.Bauer s.n.; holo: W; iso: K.
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