Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Melochia umbellata (Houtt.) Stapf

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
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Flower. © CSIRO
Leaves and Flowers. © CSIRO
Flowers [not vouchered]. © G. Sankowsky
Flower. © R.L. Barrett
Flower. © R.L. Barrett
Leaves and flowers [not vouchered]. © G. Sankowsky
Habit, leaves and inflorescences. © R.L. Barrett
Stipule. © R.L. Barrett
Leaf base. © R.L. Barrett
Leaf margin. © R.L. Barrett
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Habit. © R.L. Barrett
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO

Stapf, O. (1912) Kew Bulletin : 317.

Common name

Wesnoo; Tangkal Bintenoo; Meloch; Betenook; Boosi


A small tree not exceeding 30 cm dbh. White granular and pink fibrous stripes in the outer blaze.


Leaf blades about 7.5-15 x 5.5-11 cm. Stellate hairs present on the underside of the younger leaf blades. Midrib and four veins usually radiate from the base where the petiole joins the leaf blade. Twig bark strong and fibrous when stripped. Stipules caducous. Large pores in the twig pith readily visible with a lens or just visible to the naked eye.


Inflorescence exceeding the leaves. Calyx about 5 mm long, densely stellate hairy on the outer surface. Petals about 6-7 mm long. Anther filaments fused to form a short tube towards the base. Staminal tube fused to the clawed base of the petals. Ovary densely clothed in long, prostrate, pale hairs.


Calyx and corolla both persisting on the mature fruits. Capsules about 8-10 mm long, outer surface hairy, with both simple and stellate hairs. Seeds winged at one end, seed + wing about 6-7 mm long.


Cotyledons +/- orbicular, about 5-6 mm diam., undersurface hairy near the base. First pair of leaves with toothed margins. At the tenth leaf stage: leaves ovate, apex acute, base obtuse to cordate, teeth irregular, dentate, upper surface with a few prostrate, pale hairs; stipules linear, petiole and terminal bud clothed in pale hairs. Seed germination time 39 to 144 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in WA and CYP. Altitudinal range from sea level to 100 m. Grows in monsoon forest and beach forest. This species is probably favoured by disturbance. Also occurs in Asia and Malesia.

Natural History & Notes

Stem bark material of this species was active against some tumors. Collins et al. (1990).

Visenia umbellata Houtt., Handleiding 8: 309(1777).
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