Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Phaleria clerodendron (F.Muell.) Benth.

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
Click/tap on images to enlarge
Flower. © Barry Jago
Leaves and Flowers. © CSIRO
Fruit, side views and cross section. © W. T. Cooper
Fruit. © CSIRO
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Cotyledon and 1st leaf stage, hypogeal germination. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, hypogeal germination. © CSIRO

Bentham, G. (1873) Flora Australiensis 6: 38.

Common name

Scented Phaleria; Apple, Rosy; Scented Daphne; Rosy Apple


Usually grows into a small or medium-sized tree but occasionally flowers and fruits as a shrub. Bark extremely strong and fibrous when stripped.


Twig bark strong and fibrous, emitting an unpleasant odour when stripped. Leaf blades about 9.5-19 x 3-7.2 cm.


Flowers pleasantly perfumed. Perianth petaloid. Perianth tube (hypanthium) much longer than the lobes, tube about 25 mm long, lobes about 4-5 mm long. Stamens eight in two whorls of four, one above the other on the perianth tube (hypanthium), the upper whorl opposite the lobes. Stigma capitate, thicker than the style.


Fruits globular or depressed globular, sometimes laterally compressed, about 25-35 x 35-50 mm. Endocarp somewhat fibrous. Seeds variable up to about 20 x 17 mm. Fruit borne on the trunk and larger branches.


A pair of cataphylls each about 8-14 x 1 mm, are produced before the first true leaves. First pair of true leaves lanceolate or ovate, about 5-6.5 x 1.5-2 cm, glabrous. At the tenth leaf stage: leaves narrowly ovate, apex acuminate, base cuneate, seedling completely glabrous. Cataphylls sometimes occur among true leaves. Seed germination time 22 to 43 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in NEQ. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 900 m. Grows in well developed lowland and upland rain forest.

Natural History & Notes

Fruit eaten by Cassowaries. Cooper & Cooper (1994).

A shrub or small tree that deserves to be more commonly cultivated. Beautifully perfumed white flowers are produced on the stem and branches and are followed by large red fruits.

Drymyspermum clerodendron F.Muell., Fragmenta 7: 1(1869), Type: Rockingham Bay, Qld, J. Dallachy s.n.
RFK Code
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