Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Phyllanthus praelongipes Airy Shaw & G.L.Webster

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
Click/tap on images to enlarge
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage, cotyledons still attached, epigeal germination. © CSIRO

Airy Shaw, H.K. & Webster, G.L. (1972) Kew Bulletin 26: 100. Type: PAPUA, Northern Distr., near Safia Patrol Post, 6 Aug. 1963, Darbyshire 1206; holo: K.

Common name



Branches are shed like Kauri Pine (Agathis robusta), leaving quite large shallow depressions on the trunk.


Leaf blades about 4-10 x 3-5 cm, much paler on the underside. Leaves tend to be distichous rather than spirally arranged on the twigs. Oil dots visible with a lens. Midrib flush or slightly raised on the upper surface.


Pedicels filiform, flowers small, about 2.5-3.5 mm diam. Male flowers pink, disk consisting of three bilobed cerebriform glands. Stamens united to form an androphore. Female flowers green, disk continuous (but composed of three separate segments), somewhat lobed and pitted.


Perianth persistent. Fruits depressed globular, +/- 3-lobed, slightly concave at the apex, 5-5.5 x 6-7 mm. Seeds about 2 x 1.5 mm. Testa +/- smooth, but finely transversely striate.


Cotyledons elliptic or obovate, about 4-5 mm long. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade broadly ovate, apex acute or obtuse, base rounded or cuneate, glabrous; stipules very small, triangular, visible with a lens. All leaves after the first pair are produced on lateral branches which could be mistaken for compound leaves. Seed germination time 26 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in CYP and NEQ. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 200 m. Grows in monsoon forest and drier rain forest. Also occurs in New Guinea.

RFK Code
Copyright © CSIRO 2020, all rights reserved.