Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Pimelea linifolia Sm.

Herb (herbaceous or woody, under 1 m tall)
Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
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Habit, leaves and flowers. © CSIRO
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO

Smith, J.E. (1794) A Specimen of the Botany of New Holland : t. 11. Type: New South Wales, 1791 & 1793, J. White; lecto: LINN. Fide S. Threlfall, Brunonia 5: 137 (1983).

Common name

Queen-of-the-bush; Flax-leaf Rice Flower; Slender Riceflower; Riceflower


Usually flowers and fruits as a herb or shrub up to 1-1.5 m tall.


Leaf blades about 4-29 x 1-9 mm, midrib prominent. Twig bark strong and fibrous when stripped.


Flower heads +/- hemispherical, about 20-25 mm diam. Bracts four, large and leafy, mainly glabrous. Perianth tube (hypanthium) about 7-16 mm long. Lobes about 1.5-5 mm long. Outer surface of perianth clothed in white hairs. Stamens shorter than or rarely exceeding the lobes. Pollen orange. Ovary green, hairy towards the apex. Style not centrally located at the apex of the ovary.


Floral bracts four, persistent at the base of the infructescence. Fruits enclosed in hairy brown translucent bracts. Aril thin, white or translucent. Seeds hairy, endosperm scanty. Cotyledons longer than the radicle.


Cotyledons about 9 x 1.5 mm, closely resembling the seedling leaves but slightly thicker. First pair of true leaves oblong to linear, about 10 x 1-1.5 mm. At the tenth leaf stage: leaves produced in decussate pairs, about 8-10 x 1-2 mm, petiole about 0.5 mm long. Seed germination time 84 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to Australia, occurs in NEQ, CEQ and southwards as far as South Australia and Tasmania. Altitudinal range in NEQ from 650-1100 m. Usually grows in wet sclerophyll forest but sometimes found on the margin of upland rain forest.

Natural History & Notes

Suspected on field evidence of being poisonous to sheep but the evidence is not conclusive. Everist (1974).

Food plant for the larval stages of the Yellow-spot blue butterfly. Common & Waterhouse (1981).

Pimelea linifolia Sm. subsp. linifolia, Brunonia 5(2): 139(1983). Pimelea linifolia Sm. var. linifolia, Prodromus 14(1): 498(1856).
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