Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Neisosperma poweri (F.M.Bailey) Fosberg & Sachet

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
Click/tap on images to enlarge
Flowers. © G. Sankowsky
Leaves and Flowers. © CSIRO
Leaves and fruit. © B. Gray
Fruit, side view, cross section and seed. © W. T. Cooper
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO

Fosberg, F.R. et al. (1977) Adansonia ser. 2 17: 31.

Common name

Red Boat Tree; Milkbush


Seldom grows beyond 20 cm dbh, often flowers and fruits as a shrub.


Petioles and twigs produce a milky exudate. Leaf blades about 15 x 4.5 cm, blade much paler on the underside. Lateral veins forming an angle of approx. 80 with the midrib.


Flowers about 10-20 mm diam. Calyx lobes about 1.3-1.8 mm long. Corolla tube about 10-12 mm long, thickened on the inner surface at the apex. Corolla lobes glabrous, about 4-8 mm long. Anthers on short filaments, inserted on the corolla tube just below the apex. Anthers enclosed within the corolla tube. Stigmas capitate, shortly hairy.


Fruits ellipsoid, about 3.5-4.5 x 1.5-2 cm. Endocarp +/- bullet-shaped, about 4 x 1.5 cm, outer surface +/- smooth, but marked by longitudinal anastomosing fibrous strands. Seed flat, about 30 x 10-12 mm.


Cotyledons ovate, about 40-50 mm long, petiole short. First pair of leaves obovate, about 3 x 1.5 cm, glabrous, margins smooth. At the tenth leaf stage: leaves obovate, apex obtuse with a short acuminate tip, base attenuate, glabrous. Stems and leaves produce a milky exudate. Seed germination time 36 to 47 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to Queensland, occurs in NEQ, CEQ and southwards to north-eastern New South Wales. Altitudinal range from 600-1100 m. A common understory tree in upland and mountain rain forests.

Natural History & Notes

Fallen fruit eaten by Musky Rat-kangaroos. Cooper & Cooper (1994).

Ochrosia poweri F.M.Bailey, Queensland Department of Agriculture and Stock. Botany Bulletin 13: 11(1896), Type: Eumundi, Field. Nat. Excursion, Nov. 1895. Ochrosia newelliana F.M.Bailey, Queensland Agricultural Journal 5(4): 389(1899), Type: Atherton, J.F. Bailey.
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