Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Stephanophysum longifolium Pohl

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

Pohl, J.B.E. (1831) Plantarum Brasiliae Icones et Descriptiones 2 2: 85. Type: Habitat in umbrosis, inter frutices, ad Rio Pirrahi Capstaniae Rio de Janeiro, et in Serra de Chumbo Capitaniae Minas Geras. Legi mense Martio 1.

Common name

Red Christmas Pride


Usually flowers and fruits as a weedy shrub about 1-1.5 m tall.


Leaf blades about 8-13.5 x 2.5-4.5 cm, petioles about 5-30 mm long, grooved on the upper surface. Lateral veins about 6 or 7 on each side of the midrib. Stems 4-angled and longitudinally ribbed or grooved. Petiole bases form a ridge across the twigs.


Calyx about 5-7 mm long. Corolla about 30-35 x 4-7 mm, outer surface crimson, inner surface yellow, streaked with red, corolla lobes about 6 x 4 mm. Stamens four, paired, the filaments of each pair fused for about 11 mm at the base, while the upper filaments are free for about 11 mm. Anthers about 3 mm long. Style about 25-30 mm long, stigma 2-lobed, funnel-shaped. Ovary about 3 x 1 mm, clothed in short hairs.


Capsules about 20 x 3 mm. Seeds 5-10 per capsule, each seed about 3 x 3 mm. Testa very thin. Cotyledons quite large, about 2.5 mm diam., radicle small, about 0.5 mm long.


Cotyledons reniform, about 7-9 x 9-11 mm, 3-veined. Petioles and the upper surface of the first pair of leaves clothed in short erect hairs. At the tenth leaf stage: stems marked by stipule-like scars between the petioles. Midrib and lateral veins strongly raised on both the upper and lower surfaces of the leaf blade. Upper and lower leaf blade surfaces minutely hairy (barely visible with a lens). Stems longitudinally striated and swollen just above the nodes. Seed germination time 63 days.

Distribution and Ecology

An introduced species originally from Brazil, now naturalised in NEQ. Altitudinal range not known but collected at 120 m. Grows in disturbed areas of lowland rain forest in the Gordonvale area.

Natural History & Notes

A common weed in gardens on the Atherton Tableland.

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