Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Strychnos lucida R.Br.

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

Brown, R. (1810) Prodromus Florae Novae Hollandiae : 469. Type: Australia, Carpentaria Is., Arnhem Bays, R. Brown [Bennett 2913]; lecto: BM; iso: North Coast, R. Brown s.n.; MEL. Fide Conn & Brown (1993).

Common name

Strychnine Bush


A small tree seldom exceeding 30 cm dbh. Inner and outer blazes quite distinct. Fine stripes in the inner blaze.


Twigs pale and marked by numerous, paler, circular lenticels. Leaf blades about 2.6-6.1 x 1.7-3.7 cm, much paler on the underside. Leaf shape variable, the blade always distinctly 3-veined. Midrib flush with the upper surface or slightly depressed towards the base.


Calyx about 1-1.2 mm long. Corolla about 10-15 mm long, tube about 7-12 mm long, tube distinctly longer than the lobes. Stamens inserted in the throat of the tube, filaments short. Anthers about 1.2-1.8 mm long. Ovary about 1 mm diam., glabrous. Style about 12 mm long.


Fruits globular, about 20-30 mm diam. Seeds about 12-15 x 10-12 mm, densely short pubescent.


Cotyledons +/- cordate, about 25-30 mm long, glabrous. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade lanceolate, apex acuminate, base cuneate, glabrous and without spines in the axils. Seed germination time 110 to 229 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in WA, NT, CYP and NEQ. Altitudinal range from sea level to 450 m. Grows in monsoon forest and gallery forest. Also occurs in SE Asia and Malesia.

Natural History & Notes

Although this species is suspected of being poisonous to stock the evidence is not completely convincing. Everist (1974).

Strychnos ligustrina Blume, Rumphia 1: 68(1836), Type: Timor, A. Zippelius s.n.; lecto: L; iso: K. Fide N. G. Bisset et al, Lloydia 36: 186 (1973).
RFK Code
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