Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Mallotus nesophilus Mull.Arg.

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
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Leaves and fruit. © CSIRO
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO

Mueller Argoviensis, J. (1865) Linnaea 34: 196. Type: Qld, Sweers Is., Henne; lecto: MEL; iso: G-DC; Cape Flinders, 1819, A. Cunningham 295; Quail Is., 1855, Flood.

Common name

Yellow Ball Flower


A small tree. Hard brittle, pale brown inclusions present in the blaze.


Numerous small yellowish glands visible on the underside of the leaf blade with the aid of a lens. Numerous small oil dots visible with a lens. Small stellate hairs just visible on the twigs and underside of the leaf blade with the aid of a lens. Two flat or slightly depressed glands visible on the upper surface of the leaf blade at its junction with the petiole. Leaf blades about 5-14 x 3-11 cm, petioles about 5-11 cm long. Lateral vein 6-8 on each side of the midrib.


Floral bracts inconspicuous. Flowers about 3-4 mm diam. Tepals clothed in stellate hairs and yellow glands. Ovary densely and completely clothed in glands.


Capsules glabrous, but densely clothed in yellow or reddish brown glands. Seeds +/- globular, about 3-4 mm diam.


Cotyledons orbicular, about 12 mm diam., petiole relatively long and slender. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade triangular, margin serrate, upper surface clothed in simple and stellate hairs, lower surface clothed in simple hairs and pale yellow glands; petioles densely clothed in simple hairs and scattered yellow glands; stipules small and hairy. Seed germination time 21 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to Australia, occurs in WA, NT, CYP, NEQ and CEQ. Altitudinal range from sea level to 600 m. Grows in monsoon forest, beach forest and similar communities. Most frequently encountered near the sea.

Echinus nesophilus (Mull.Arg.) Baill., Adansonia 6: 314(1866). Mallotus tiliifolius (Blume) Mull.Arg., Linnaea 34: 190(1865).
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