Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Premna odorata Blanco

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

Blanco, F.M. (1837) Flora de Filipinas 1: 488. Type: Philippines, Mt Makiling, 28 Feb. 1949, J. Tadena PNH 9602; neotype: BRI 267491; iso: PNH.

Common name

Premna, Fragrant; Fragrant Premna


Usually grows into a small tree but also flowers and fruits as a shrub about 3-4 m tall.


Twigs, petioles, the upper and particularly the lower leaf blade surfaces clothed in pale erect hairs. Leaf blades about 6.5-16 x 4-10 cm, petioles about 2-6 cm long. Midrib depressed on the upper surface. Domatia, if present, are tufts of hairs. Twigs marked by pale coloured lenticels.


Panicles about 5.5-13 cm long, flowers +/- sessile. Calyx rather variable, usually 2-lipped, calyx about 1.5-2.5 mm long, densely pubescent outside, glabrous on the inner surface, tube about 1-1.5 mm long, lobes about 0.5-1 mm long. Corolla 2-lipped, about 3.5-5.5 mm long, tube almost twice as long as the calyx, lower lobe about 1.5-2 mm long, lateral lobes about 1-1.5 mm long. Corolla tube hairy on the inner surface. Stamens exserted, filaments on one pair about 1.5-3 mm long and the other pair about 1-2 mm long, glabrous, sometimes with hairs near the base. Ovary globose, about 1 mm diam., style glabrous, about 3-5 mm long, shortly bifid at the apex.


Fruits globose or obovoid, about 3-5 x 3-4.5 mm. Embryo about 3 mm long, cotyledons emarginate at the apex, wider and longer than the radicle.


Cotyledons about 9-10 x 7-8 mm, petioles about 3 mm long. First pair of leaves about 11-12 x 7-8 mm, margins toothed or lobed. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade underside marked by numerous gland-like indentations. Each leaf blade with about 5-7 large teeth on each side. Petiole about 10-15 mm long, grooved on the upper surface. Seed germination time 89 to 110 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in NT, CYP, NEQ and CEQ. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 400 m. Grows in or on the margins of gallery forest. Also occurs in Malesia.

Premna tomentosa Willd., Species Plantarum ed. 4, 3 : 314(1802), Type: Habitat in India orientali (v.s.). Premna benthamiana Domin, Bibliotheca Botanica 89(4): 1110(1928), Type: Queensland, Port Mackay, 1863-1865, A. Dietrich 2628; syn: MEL, PR. Premna obtusifolia var. velutina Benth., Flora Australiensis 5: 59(1870), Type: Queensland, Rockingham Bay, J.Dallachy; syn: BM, K, MEL.
RFK Code
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