Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Odontonema tubaeforme (Bertol.) Kuntze

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
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Flowers. © CSIRO
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO

Kuntze, C.E.O. (1891) Rev. Gen. : 494.

Common name

Fire Spike


Usually flowers and fruits as a weedy shrub about 2 m tall.


Leaf blades elliptic to ovate, about 11-18 x 4.5-7 cm, petioles about 5 mm long. Lateral veins about 7-11 on each side of the midrib. Leaf blades glabrous on the upper surface, lower surface with short hairs along the midrib and lateral veins.


Flowers about 10 mm diam. Calyx lobes glabrous, about 2 mm long, apices acute. Corolla tube about 22-24 x 4-5 mm, corolla slightly 2-lipped, lobes about 3-4 mm long, apices obtuse. Stamens inserted in the corolla tube, anthers not projecting beyond the corolla. Anthers and anther filaments each about 4 mm long. Staminodes two, much shorter than the perfect stamens. Ovary oblong, about 3-4 mm long. Style about 25 mm long.


Features not available.


Features not available.

Distribution and Ecology

An introduced species originally from Central America, now naturalised in NEQ and also in south eastern Queensland. Altitudinal range in NEQ not known but collected at 760 m. Grows in disturbed areas on the margins of rain forest and around settlements.

Natural History & Notes

Commonly grown in gardens as an ornamental shrub.

Justicia tubaeformis Bertol., Novi Coment Acad. Sci. Inst. Bononiensis 4: 405(1840), Type: Guatemala, Escuintla, 1836, Velasquez s.n.; Holo: BOLO. Odontonema strictum (Nees) Kuntze, Rev. Gen. Pl. : 494(1891). Thyrsacanthus strictus Nees, Prodr. 11: 324(1847), Type: Honduras, Armstrong; Holo: Hooker Herb. K.
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