Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Steganthera laxiflora (Benth.) Whiffin & Foreman subsp. laxiflora

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Flowers [not vouchered]. © G. Sankowsky
Leaves and Flowers. © CSIRO
Leaves and Flowers. © CSIRO
Fruit, side views and cross section. © W. T. Cooper
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO

Whiffin, T & Foreman, D.B. (2007) Flora of Australia 2: 452.

Common name

Beech, Tetra; Tetra Beech


Oak grain in the wood. Blaze odour faint, perhaps resembling guava (Psidium guajava).


Oil dots visible with a lens. Leaf blades about 6-18 x 1.5-8 cm. Lateral veins forming loops inside the blade margin. Terminal buds, young shoots and younger leafy twigs hairy. Midrib hairy on the upper surface of young leaves. Oak grain in the twigs visible with a lens.


Inflorescence usually shorter than the leaves, sometimes approximating the leaves. Flowers about 2-3 mm diam. Female flowers +/- operculate. Tepals small and inconspicuous, broad, and +/- rounded, up to 0.5 mm long. Staminal filaments fused to form a short thick tube, anthers opening by an apical slit. Carpels about 18-22, about 1 mm long, villous.


Receptacle yellowish-green, not very swollen, pubescent. Fruiting carpels ellipsoid, about 15-16 x 13 mm. Seed about 11-12 x 7-8 mm. Embryo about 5-6 x 1 mm. Cotyledons about as wide as (or slightly wider than) the radicle.


Cotyledons ovate to lanceolate or triangular, 20-25 mm long, 3-veined. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade +/- elliptic, apex acute or acuminate, base cuneate, margins serrate, teeth on the upper 2/3rds of the leaf blade, hairy on the upper surface; petiole, stem and terminal bud densely clothed in reddish brown hairs. Seed germination time 53 to 108 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to Queensland, occurs in CYP(?), NEQ and CEQ. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 1100 m. Grows as an understory tree in well developed rain forest on a variety of sites.

Natural History & Notes

Fruit eaten by Cassowaries and Fruit Pigeons. Cooper & Cooper (1994).

Mollinedia laxiflora (Benth.) F.Muell., Systematic Census of Australian Plants : 3(1883). Tetrasynandra laxiflora (Benth.) Perkins, Botanische Jahrbucher 25: 569(1898). Kibara laxiflora Benth., Flora Australiensis 5: 289(1870), Type: Qld, Rockingham Bay, Dallachy, 1870; Lecto: K. Fide T. Whiffin & D. Foreman (2007). Mollinedia subternata F.M.Bailey, Queensland Department of Agriculture and Stock. Botany Bulletin 5: 22(1892), Type: Freshwater Creek, near Cairns, E. Cowley; Holo: BRI.
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