Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Pollia macrophylla (R.Br.) Benth.

Herb (herbaceous or woody, under 1 m tall)
Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
Click/tap on images to enlarge
Flowers. © Barry Jago
Leaves and Flowers. © CSIRO
Infructescens and fruit. © CSIRO
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, hypogeal germination. © CSIRO

Bentham, G. (1878) Flora Australiensis 7: 90. 

Common name

Wandering Jew


A terrestrial creeping herb, rooting at the nodes, normally attaining a height of about 50 cm but under favourable conditions reaching 1-2 m in height.


Leaves variable in size but commonly about 17-20 x 4-5 cm. Lateral veins diverge from the midrib at a very low angle and run parallel to one another. Petiole forms a puberulent, longitudinally veined sheath about 3-4 cm long, completely enclosing the stem.


Inflorescence consists of whorls of flower clusters. Flowers arranged in pairs and subtended by a common bract. Petals glabrous, about 3-4 mm long. Ovary white, glabrous, style +/- lateral at the apex of the ovary and protruding from the flower at an angle.


Ripe fruits shiny brown or +/- grey, about 4-7 mm long. Seeds with a central depression on each side of the seed.


First leaf broadly spathulate, about 4 mm wide, petiole forming a distinct sheath around the stem. At the tenth leaf stage: lateral veins diverge from the midrib at a very low angle and run parallel to one another. Petiole forming a puberulent, longitudinally veined sheath around the stem.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to Queensland, occurs in CYP, NEQ, CEQ and southwards as far as south east Queensland. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 1200 m. Grows in disturbed but somewhat shaded areas in well developed rain forest on a variety of soils.

Pollia macrophylla (R.Br.) Benth. var. macrophylla, A Synopsis of the Queensland Flora : 557(1883). Aclisia macrophylla (R.Br.) G.Bruckn., Die Naturlichen Pflanzenfamilien ed. 2, 15a : 176(1930). Aneilema macrophyllum R.Br., Prodromus Florae Novae Hollandiae : 270(1810), Type: Northern Australia, R. Brown; holo: BM?.
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