Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Miliusa horsfieldii (Benn.) Baill. ex Pierre

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Flowers [not vouchered]. © G. Sankowsky
Flowers [not vouchered]. © G. Sankowsky
Flowers [not vouchered]. © G. Sankowsky
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO

Pierre, J.B.L. (1881) Flore Forestiere de la Cochinchine : 38.

Common name

Beech; Miliusa


Living bark very fibrous and tough. Blaze layering fine and inconspicuous. Brownish stripes usually visible in the blaze.


Leaf blades about 4-14 x 2.5-4 cm. Petioles short. Lateral veins curving but not forming definite loops. Oil dots visible with a lens. Buds and very young shoots densely clothed in pale brown hairs. Oak grain in the twigs and expanded rays in the bark. Twig bark strong and fibrous when stripped.


Sepals and outer petals similar, +/- linear-subulate, reflexed and persistent at anthesis. Inner petals mostly 30-38 mm long. Pedicels at flowering usually less than 15 mm long. Stamens about 48. Ovaries about 23.


Fruiting carpels ellipsoid or subglobular, about 20-35 x 17-20 mm, stalks about 10-20 mm long. Seeds usually 2-5 per fruiting carpel, testa smooth. Embryo minute.


Cotyledons broadly ovate, about 30 x 20 mm, hairy on the upper surface along midrib. At the tenth leaf stage: leaves ovate-oblong or ovate-lanceolate, apex acute to acuminate, mucronate, base cordate, hairy on the upper surface along midrib; petiole and young terminal bud densely clothed in pale brown hairs.

Distribution and Ecology

Widespread in CYP and NEQ as far south as Cairns. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 200 m. Grows in lowland rain forest. Also occurs in Malesia.

Natural History & Notes

Food plant for the larval stages of the Fourbar Swordtail, Green Spotted Triangle and the Pale Green Triangle Butterflies. Sankowsky & Neilsen (2000).

Saccopetalum horsfieldii Bennett, Pl. jav. rar. : 165(1840), Type: Province of Banyumas, Java, 1814, T. Horsfield; holo: BM. Fide Jessup (1988).
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