Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Melicope rubra (Lauterb. & K.Schum.) T.G.Hartley

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
Click/tap on images to enlarge
Flowers and buds. © Stanley Breeden
Fruit, two views, cross section and seeds. © W. T. Cooper
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO
Cotyledon and 1st leaf stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO

Hartley, T.G. (2001) Allertonia 8: 211.

Common name

Mueller's Evodia; Little Evodia


Usually grows into a small tree seldom exceeding 30 cm dbh but also flowers and fruits as a shrub.


Leaflet blades about 5.5-11.5 x 1.5-4 cm. Lateral veins forming loops inside the blade margin. Fresh leaflets emitting an aromatic odour when crushed. Midrib raised on the upper surface. Compound leaf petiole channelled on the upper surface.


Inflorescences produced on the branches below or back from the leaves. Sepals +/- orbicular, about 1.5-2 mm long. Petals about 5-7 mm long, +/- glabrous on the outer surface, pubescent on the inner surface. Staminal filaments mainly glabrous, pubescent towards the base. Disk +/- 8-lobed, continuous, pubescent, surrounding the base of the ovary. Ovary densely pubescent. Lower half of the style pubescent.


Fruits about 2.5-3 x 2-2.5 cm, splitting about halfway down the sutures. Fruit surface fleshy and rugose, marked by large oil glands. Seeds about 5-6 x 3-4 mm.


Cotyledons elliptic, about 12-15 mm long, margins finely crenate. Oil dots small, numerous, visible with a lens. At the tenth leaf stage: lateral leaflets narrowly elliptic, somewhat unequal-sided at the base; upper half of the leaflet blade crenate; oil dots numerous, just visible to the naked eye. Seed germination time 25 to 248 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in CYP and NEQ. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 900 m. Grows in and on the margins of drier, more seasonal rain forest. Also occurs in New Guinea.

Natural History & Notes

A small rounded open shrub or tree that is commonly cultivated in gardens and as a street tree. Flowers are bright pink and are in clusters on the stems behind the leaves. Fruits are fleshy green to yellowish.

Melicope sp. (Shiptons Flat LSS 14360), : (). Euodia rubra Lauterb. & K.Schum., Fl. Deut. Schutzgeb. Sudsee : 375(1900), Type: New Guinea, Madang, Bismarck Gebirge, Sept. 1896, Lauterbach 2787; holo: B (lost); lecto: K. Evodiella muelleri, Nova Guinea (new ser.) 10: 147(1959).
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