Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Monoon australe (Benth.) B.Xue & R.M.K.Saunders

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Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, hypogeal germination. © CSIRO

Xue, B. et al (2012) Taxon 61(5): 1030.

Common name

Cape Canary Beech; Beech, Canary; Beech, Cape Canary; Canary Beech; Northern Territory Polyalthia


Seldom exceeding 30 cm dbh. Blaze very finely layered. Pale fibrous stripes in the outer blaze.


Leaf blades about 8-21 x 4-7 cm. Lateral veins forming only indistinct loops. Fine oak grain in the twigs and expanded rays in the twig bark. Twig bark strong and fibrous when stripped. Terminal buds clothed in short brown hairs.


Calyx lobes +/- deltoid, about 2 mm long. Inner and outer petals of similar dimensions, about 25-35 x 4-5 mm. Stamens about 50. Ovaries about 40.


Fruiting carpels +/- ellipsoid, about 20 x 13 mm, on a stalk about 10-15 mm long. Seeds about 16 x 9-10 mm, one per fruiting carpel. Embryo minute.


First leaf broadly spathulate, about 4 mm wide, petiole forming a distinct sheath around the stem. At the tenth leaf stage: lateral veins diverge from the midrib at a very low angle and run parallel to one another. Petiole forming a puberulent, longitudinally veined sheath around the stem. Seed germination time 16 to 39 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to Australia, widespread in WA, NT, CYP and NEQ. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 300 m. Grows in rain forest and gallery forest.

Natural History & Notes

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


Popowia australis Benth., Fl. Austral. 1: 52(1863), Type: Northern Territory, Barrow Bay, Port Essington, May 1840, J. Armstrong 623; holo: K. Polyalthia australis (Benth.) JessupAustrobaileya 2(3): 227 (1984). Polyalthia armitiana F.Muell., A Synopsis of the Queensland Flora, Supplement 3 : 6(1890), Type: Mr. Armits collection from tributaries of the Gilbert River. Polyalthia holtzeana F.Muell., Southern Science Record : 230(1882), Type: Near Port Darwin; Maurice Holtze.

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