Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Pimelea latifolia subsp. altior (F.Muell.) Threlfall

Herb (herbaceous or woody, under 1 m tall)
Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
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Flowers. CC-BY: APII, ANBG.

Threlfall, S. (1983) Brunonia 5(2): 193


Shrub or woody subshrub to 2 m tall. Buds densely hairy with whitish hairs, stems hairy or hairless.


Leaves simple, opposite and decussate, sometimes alternate. Stipules absent. Petiole 2-3 mm long. Leaf blades elliptic to spathulate or broad-elliptic to ± circular, usually 0.2-4.4 cm long and 0.15-1.9 cm wide, base cuneate, margin usually recurved, apex acute. Lateral veins 5-8 pairs. Both surfaces hairy with fine, slightly tangled spreading hairs, upper surface without small rounded projections, lower surface paler green.


Inflorescence terminal or axillary in upper axils. Flowers sessile, 2-10 in head like clusters (condensed racemes). Subtending bracts absent or leaf-like, 1.5-6 mm long. Flowers unisexual (in Rye 1990 reported as bisexual and female), plants dioecious, actinomorphic, 4-merous. Perianth in one whorl, with a tubular hypanthium 3.5-10 mm long and 4 tepal (sepal) lobes; white. Male flowers with tepal lobes 1.5-3 mm long, stamens 2, inserted at throat or rim of hypanthium, strongly exserted. Female flowers with tepal lobes 1-1.8 mm long, staminodes unknown; ovary superior, hairy at apex and floral parts perigynous, style scarcely exserted.


Fruit dry, a nut, ovoid, 3-4 mm long, green, enclosed or protruding from remains of hypanthium, clothed in white hairs particularly near the apex. Seed solitary about 4 mm long; seed surface with longitudinal rows of shallow pits.


Features not available.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in NEQ on Hinchinbrook Island, CEQ and southwards to central coastal New South Wales. Commonly in sclerophyll forest but also in or adjacent to rainfores.

Natural History & Notes

Within Pimelea latifolia 4 subspecies are recognized; only 2 grow in rainforest, P. latifolia subsp. latifolia and P. latifolia subsp. altior. The former is distinguished from subsp. altior by the presence of small rounded projections on the upper leaf surface and the presence of appressed hairs on the upper leaf surface compared with antrorse to spreading hairs in subsp. altior. This profile information and associated coding has been adapted from Harden et al. (2014), Herber (2003) and Rye (1990).


Pimelea altior F.Muell., Fragmenta Phytographiae Australiae 1(4): 84, (1859). Type: "In collibus petraeis silvaticis circum sinum Moreton Bay. Hill & Mueller." Banksia altior (F.Muell.) Kuntze, Revisio Generum Plantarum 2: 583, (1891). Pimelea altior F.Muell. var. altior, Bibliotheca Botanica 22(89): 990, (1928 ). Pimelea latifolia var. altior (F.Muell.) Threlfall, Brunonia 5(2): 193, (1983). Pimelea altior var. parvifolia Domin, Bibliotheca Botanica 22(89): 990, (1928). Type: "Queensland: Ithaca Creek, C.T. WHITE VI. 1910, in herb. meo." Pimelea latifolia var. parvifolia (Domin) Threlfall, Brunonia 5(2): 193, (1983).


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