Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Streblus brunonianus (Endl.) F.Muell.

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
Click/tap on images to enlarge
Female flower [not vouchered]. CC-BY J.L. Dowe
© Barry Jago
Male flowers. © CSIRO
Fruit, side views and seed. © W. T. Cooper
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Cotyledon and 1st leaf stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO
Female flowers, side view, tepals, ovary, style & hairy stigmas. © CSIRO
Male flower Hairy tepals & anthers. © CSIRO

Mueller, F.J.H. von (1868) Fragmenta Phytographiae Australiae 6: 192.

Common name

Fig, Prickly; Grey Handlewood; Prickly Fig; Ragwood; White Handlewood; Whalebone Tree; Waddywood; Axehandle Wood


Bark exudate not copious. White vertical stripes in the outer blaze under the lenticels.


Leaf blades about 5-8 x 2.5-4 cm. Underside of the leaf blade somewhat rough, resembling sandpaper when touched with the lips, upper surface +/- smooth. Freshly broken petioles produce a milky exudate. Lateral veins forming loops inside the blade margin.


Male and female flowers sessile, inflorescence bracts cordate, reniform, peltate. Male flowers: Inflorescence about 10-50 mm long. Staminal filaments about 2 mm long. Female flowers: Inflorescence about 5-10 mm long. Ovary about 1.5-2 mm long. Style arms about 4-5 mm long.


Fruits about 8 x 8 mm. Perianth persistent at the base and style arms persistent at the apex. Seed about 4 x 3.5-4 mm. Embryo +/- U-shaped in outline, cotyledons folded, each +/- hemispherical, much wider than the radicle.


Cotyledons obovate, about 3-4 mm long. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade ovate or narrowly ovate, apex acuminate, base obtuse, upper surface glabrous, lower surface scabrous; petiole hairy; stipules elongate-triangular. Seed germination time 18 to 22 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to Australia, occurs in CYP, NEQ, CEQ and southwards as far as south-eastern New South Wales. Altitudinal range in CYP and NEQ from near sea level to 800 m. Grows in well developed rain forest, gallery forest and drier, more seasonal rain forest.

Natural History & Notes

Used to make tool handles, hockey sticks, polo heads, cobbler's lasts and baseball bats. Swain (1928).

Treated as Strebulus brunonianus (Endl.) F.Muell. in Qld.

Morus brunoniana Endl., Atakta Botanika : t.32 (1834), Type: t. 32 (Fide Chew W. L. Flora Australia 3: 18). Pseudomorus brunoniana (Endl.) Bureau, Annales des Sciences Naturelles ser. 5, 11 : 372 (1869). Pseudomorus brunoniana (Endl.) Bureau var. brunoniana, Annales des Sciences Naturelles ser. 5, 11 : 373 (1869). Pseudomorus brunoniana var. australiana Bureau, Annales des Sciences Naturelles ser. 5, 11 : 373(1869). Pseudomorus brunoniana (Endl.) Bureau var. obtusata Bureau, Ann. Sci. Nat., Bot. ser. 4 11: 373 (1869). Pseudomorus pendulina var. australiana Stearn, Journal of the Arnold Arboretum 28: 427 (1947).
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