Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition
Meiogyne hirsuta (Jessup) Jessup
Jessup, L.W. (2007) Flora of Australia 2: 450. Type: Queensland, Henrietta Creek, Palmerston Highway, 27 Nov. 1982, L.W. Jessup 512.Holo: BRI. Iso: CANB, K, L, MEL, NSW, QRS, U.
Usually flowers and fruits as a single-stemmed shrub about 3 m tall but also flowers when smaller.
Leaf bearing twigs clothed in rusty brown +/- erect hairs. Twig bark strong and fibrous when stripped. Oak grain visible in transverse sections of the twigs. Leaf blades about 7-12.5 x 2.5-4.5 cm, usually slightly unequal-sided at the base. Petioles quite short, about 0.2-0.3 cm long. Lateral veins forming loops inside the blade margins.
Flowers emitting an unpleasant odour. Pedicels about 1-4 mm long. Sepals broadly ovate, about 4.5-5.5 x 4-4.8 mm. Outer petals narrowly ovate, about 30-40 x 8-9 mm. Inner petals narrowly ovate, about 30-48 x 7-9 mm, grooved or sculptured on the inner surface towards the base. Stamens 45-60, anthers sessile, apex with a hook-like appendage. Ovaries 5-16, densely clothed in erect golden brown hairs. Ovules 4-6 per ovary. Stigmas very sticky.
Fruiting carpels 9-12 per fruit, each carpel clothed in brown hairs about 1 mm long. Fruiting carpels sausage-shaped, up to 38 x 14 mm. Seeds 1-5 per carpel. Each seed about 7-9 mm diam. Testa sculptured and showing an equatorial ring. Endosperm deeply ruminate. Embryo small and straight, about 1 mm long, cotyledons accounting for about 30% of the total length.
Germination of the 'Durian Type' with the cotyledons remaining within the seed coat. Cotyledons shed as the seedling develops leaving two small scars on the stem below the first pair of true leaves. Stem clothed in erect, pale hairs above the cotyledonary scars. Underside of the first pair of true leaves sparsely clothed in prostrate hairs. At the tenth leaf stage: leaves 2-ranked, oil dots small, just visible with a lens, leaf blade margin ciliate. Stem densely clothed in brownish hairs. Terminal bud clothed in white, silky hairs. Seed germination time 160 to 276 days.
Endemic to NEQ, known only from Cedar Bay, Mossman River and the North Johnstone River. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 300 m. Grows as an understory shrub in well developed lowland and foothill rain forests.
Food plant for the larval stages of the Green Spotted Triangle Butterfly. Sankowsky & Neilsen (2000).