Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Ochna serrulata (Hochst.) Walp.

Herb (herbaceous or woody, under 1 m tall)
Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
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Leaves and Flowers. © CSIRO
Fruit [not vouchered]. CC-BY: J.L. Dowe
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO

Walpers, W.G. (1846) Repertorium Botanicae Systematicae 5 : 400.

Common name

Mickey-Mouse Plant; Ochna


Usually flowers and fruits as a shrub about 1-3 tall.


Leaf blades about 30-45 x 10-15 mm, petioles about 1-2 mm long. Margin serrate with about 30-40 coarse teeth on each side. Lateral veins about 30-40 on each side of the midrib. Stipules linear, filiform, about 1-2 mm long.


Flowers perfumed. Calyx lobes to about 8 mm long, longitudinally veined. Petals about 10 mm long. Stigma multilobed.


Fruits consist of a bright red receptacle with up to six black fruiting carpels embedded in it. Seeds about 8 mm long. Cotyledons about 8 mm long, radicle small.


First pair of leaves; margins finely serrate. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade conspicuously serrate with about 30-40 teeth on each side. Venation conspicuously raised on the upper surface. Stipules caducous, about 3 mm long, +/- sheathing the axillary buds. Seed germination time 61 days.

Distribution and Ecology

An introduced species originally from southern Africa, now naturalised in NEQ, CEQ and southwards to coastal central New South Wales. Altitudinal range in NEQ from near sea level to 800 m. Usually grows as a garden weed, apparently distributed by fruit-eating birds but also found in disturbed rain forest.

Natural History & Notes

A commonly grown garden plant that produces yellow flowers and small black berries, now escaped because birds spread the seeds.

Diporidium serrulatum Hochst., Flora 27: 304(1844).
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