Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Litsea breviumbellata C.K.Allen

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
Click/tap on images to enlarge
Male flowers. © CSIRO
Female flowers. © CSIRO
Leaves and Flowers. © CSIRO
Leaves and Flowers. © CSIRO
Leaves and Flowers. © CSIRO
Leaves and fruit. © A. Ford & F. Goulter
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, hypogeal germination. © CSIRO

Allen, C.K. (1942) Journal of the Arnold Arboretum 23: 121. Type: British New Guinea: Middle Fly River, Lake Daviumbu, Brass 7585 , Aug. 1936; holo: A; iso: BO, BRI, L.

Common name

Brown Bollygum; Beech, Brown; Bolly Beech; Bollygum; Bollygum, Brown; Sycamore; Soft Bollygum; Rusty Leaf Bollywood; Brown Bollywood; Bollywood; Bollygum, Soft; Beech, Bolly; Brown Beech; Bollywood, Brown


Seldom exceeding 30 cm dbh but can flower and fruit when still at the shrub stage. Pale yellowish brown brittle stripes or speckles in the inner blaze.


Twigs +/- terete, clothed in tortuous, brown or pale brown, erect hairs which persist on mature twigs. Leaf blades about 8-21.5 x 2.4-5.8 cm, green on the underside, clothed in tortuous, white and brown, erect hairs which persist on quite old leaves. Midrib depressed or flush with the upper surface. Petioles channelled on the upper surface. Oil dots visible with a lens.


Male flowers: Tepals about 1.5-2.6 mm long. Glands mauve, attached to the staminal filaments. Stamens about nine per flower, filaments pubescent towards the base. Female flowers: Tepals about 1.1-1.7 mm long. Glands attached to the staminodes. Ovary glabrous.


Fruits ellipsoid, about 10-13 x 7.5-11.5 mm. Receptacle about 4-8 x 4.5-7 mm. Seed about 8.5-10 x 4.5-9 mm. Cotyledons pink to purple.


First pair of leaves ovate or cordate, about 20-35 x 14-23 mm, green on the underside. At the tenth leaf stage: upper surface of leaves hairy at least along midrib; oil dots very small, visible only with a lens; petiole hairy. Seed germination time 24 to 71 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in NT, CYP, NEQ and possibly extends into CEQ (Percy Isles). Altitudinal range from sea level to 700 m. Grows in rain forest, monsoon forest, beach forest and fire free open forest. This species is favoured by disturbance. Also occurs in New Guinea.

Natural History & Notes

This species does not grow large enough to produce millable logs. Wood specific gravity 0.78. Hyland (1989).

Tetranthera ferruginea R.Br., Prodromus Florae Novae Hollandiae : 403(1810), Type: Banks & Solander, Cape Grafton & Endeavour River; syn: BM; iso: BRI, MEL.
RFK Code
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