Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Opisthiolepis heterophylla L.S.Sm.

Click/tap on images to enlarge
Inflorescence. © Australian Plant Image Index (APII). Photographer: M. Fagg.
Leaves, fruit and seeds. © CSIRO
Fruit, two views, cross section, dehiscing and chewed. © W. T. Cooper
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO

Smith, L.S. (1952) Proc. Royal Society Queensland 62: 79. Type: QUEENSLAND. Cook District: .. Atherton, A.G.Hanson 21/1 (TYPE flowers), February 1950 ..

Common name

Oak, Blush Silky; Pink Silky Oak; Oak, Brown Silky; Drunk Rabbit; Blush Silky Oak; Oak, Pink Silky; Brown Silky Oak


Oak grain in the wood. Coppice stems generally present at the base.


Young leaves white on the underside but mature leaves brown. Oak grain in the twigs. Leaves usually simple on mature trees. Leaf blades about 2-23 x 2-9 cm. Petioles about 1.5-5 cm long, grooved on the upper surface. Petioles on young leaves shortly winged but as the wings are folded inwards they are inconspicuous and difficult to observe.


Flowers sessile, in pairs, without a common peduncle. Flower bracts pubescent, wider than long, about 0.7 x 1.3 mm. Tepals glabrous, curved, about 2.5-5 mm long. Hypogynous gland one, bilobed. Ovary glabrous, shortly stalked. Ovules about 8.


Fruits about 10-12 x 2.5-3 cm. Seeds about 8-9 x 2-2.5 cm with a +/- continuous marginal wing. Embryo about 40 x 20 mm.


Cotyledons oblong to oblong-obovate, about 40-50 mm long. First few leaves +/- elliptic, apex acuminate, base attenuate, margins serrate on the upper half of the leaf blade. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade +/- elliptic, apex acuminate, base attenuate; margin serrate, teeth about 5-7 on each side on the upper half of the leaf blade; upper surface with reddish brown hairs along the midrib, undersurface densely hairy with prostrate, brown hairs. Lobed or compound leaves not usually present until 12th leaf or later. Seed germination time 10 to 15 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to NEQ, widespread in the area. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 1150 m. Grows in well developed rain forest on a variety of sites but is probably more common in upland and mountain rain forests and probably reaches its best development on soils derived from basalt.

Natural History & Notes

Seeds eaten by Sulphur Crested Cockatoos. Cooper & Cooper (1994).

Produces quite a decorative general purpose timber with an oak grain.

Wood specific gravity 0.61 Cause et al. (1989).

RFK Code
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