Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition
Myrsine variabilis R.Br.
Brown, R. (1810) Prodromus Florae Novae Hollandiae : 534. Type: Port Jackson, R. Brown; Holo: BM.
Brush Muttonwood; Muttonwood, Brush; Muttonwood
A small tree seldom exceeding 30 cm dbh. Oak grain in the wood and a similar pattern in the inner blaze.
Infructescence much shorter than the leaves, barely exceeding the petioles, pedicels about 3-5 mm long. Calyx lobes persistent at the base of the fruit. Fruits globular, about 4 x 4.5 mm. Oil dots visible in the exocarp and in the white fleshed pericarp. Cotyledons about as wide as the radicle or slightly narrower.
Cotyledons ovate, about 9-12 mm long. First pair of leaves obovate with about 3-5 coarse peg-like teeth on each side of the midrib. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade ovate, apex acute, base attenuate, margins serrate, about 6-8 teeth on each side of the leaf blade, glabrous; oil dots reddish. Terminal bud clothed in reddish scale-like hairs. Seed germination time 55 to 95 days.
Endemic to Australia, occurs in CYP, NEQ, CEQ and southwards as far as south-eastern New South Wales. Altitudinal range in CYP and NEQ from near sea level to 800 m. Grows in drier, more seasonal rain forest and monsoon forest.
Food plant for the larval stages of the White Lineblue Butterfly. Common & Waterhouse (1981).