Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Pittosporum venulosum F.Muell.

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
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Leaves and Flowers. © CSIRO
Leaves and dehiscing fruit. © CSIRO
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO

Mueller, F.J.H. von (1868) Fragmenta Phytographiae Australiae 6: 186. Type: In silvis montanis ad Rockinghams Bay. J. Dallachy. Holo: MEL; iso: NSW.

Common name

Rusty Pittosporum; Velvet Pittosporum; Brown Pittosporum; Veiny Pittosporum


A small tree seldom exceeding 30 cm dbh. Blaze odour resembling Lime (Citrus aurantifolia) or Western Lime (Eremocitrus glauca).


Young shoots and younger leaf bearing twigs clothed in woolly rusty brown hairs. Leaf blades about 6.5-12 x 2-5.8 cm. Midrib raised in a depression on the upper surface of the leaf blade.


Sepals oblong-obtuse, about 4-4.5 x 1.5-2 mm, ciliate, rusty tomentose. Petals about 8-11 x 1.5-2 mm. Stamens about 4-5 mm long.


Capsules subglobose to ovoid with an evident stipe, two, rarely 3-valved, apiculate, about 10-20 x 10-14 mm, glabrous, rugose. Valves about 1-2 mm thick. Placentas with funicles attached about the middle. Seeds about 6-14, aril or sarcotesta sticky.


Cotyledons narrowly ovate or narrowly elliptic with a short mucro at the apex, intramarginal vein present. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade elliptic or obovate-elliptic, glabrous on the upper surface; petiole, stem and terminal bud clothed in pale brown, tangled hairs. Seed germination time 26 to 70 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to Queensland, occurs in NEQ, CEQ and southwards as far as south east Queensland. Altitudinal range from 550-1000 m. Grows as an understory tree in well developed rain forest but is probably more common on rain forest margins, particularly drier rain forest.

Natural History & Notes

Now often used as an ornamental tree it is easily grown and decorative either in flower or fruit.

This species is recorded as being used as an aphrodisiac by the aborigines of north Queensland. Cribb (1981).

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