Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Strychnos minor Dennst.

Click/tap on images to enlarge
Flower. © Barry Jago
Leaves and fruits. © CSIRO
Fruits, side views, transverse section and seed. © W. T. Cooper
Fruit. © CSIRO
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO
Vine stem bark and vine stem transverse section. © CSIRO
Vine stem transverse section. © CSIRO

Dennstedt, A.W. (1818) Schluess. Hort. Ind. Malab. : 33. Type: Rheede, Hort. Malab. 7 (1688) 9, t.5.

Common name



Vine stem diameters to 7 cm recorded. Vascular rays just visible to the naked eye. Dead bark +/- mustard-coloured when cut.


Leaf blades about 6.5-17 x 2-8 cm, petioles about 0.5-0.8 cm long, flat or grooved on the upper surface. Stipules not obvious but stipular scars quite easily seen. Tendrils in pairs, thick and heavy, resembling rams horns.


Flowers about 3.5-4 mm diam. Calyx lobes small, about 0.75-1 mm long. Corolla tube about 4 mm long, lobes about 2 mm long. Anthers about 1 mm long, filaments about 0.5 mm long. Ovary glabrous, about 1.5 mm long. Style + stigma about 3.5 mm long. Style clothed in hairs.


Fruits globose, about 18-25 x 15-25 mm, orange when ripe, perianth lobes persistent at the base. Seeds flat, 1-4 per fruit, each seed about 15-17 x 10-15 mm. Endosperm hard and oily. Embryo white, about 5 mm long. Cotyledons about 2 mm long, radicle about 3 mm long.


Cotyledons cordate, about 2.5-3 x 1.5-2.5 cm, petioles very short or absent. One or two cataphylls produced before the first pair of true leaves. First pair of true leaves narrowly ovate to narrowly elliptic, leaf blades three-veined, about 3.5-4 x 1-1.5 cm, apex apiculate, base obtuse. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade ovate, elliptic to lanceolate, apex acuminate, base cuneate to obtuse, midrib flush or slightly depressed on the upper surface. Stem and petioles shortly hairy. Roots yellowish orange. Seed germination time 87 to 130 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in NT, CYP and NEQ. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 400 m. Grows in gallery forest and lowland rain forest. Also occurs in Malesia.

Strychnos colubrina Stokes, Bot. Mad. Med. 1 (1812) 414 non L. : (1753), Type: Rheede, Hort. Malab. 7 (1688) 9, t.5. Strychnos bancroftiana F.M.Bailey, Botany of the Bellenden Ker Expedition (in Meston: Report of the Government Scientific Expedition to Bellenden-Ker Range) : 49(1889), Type: Tringilburra Creek and Mulgrave River. F. M. Bailey. Strychnos bancroftiana F.M.Bailey, Report on New Plants, Preliminary to General Report on Botanical Results on Mestons Expedition to the Bellenden-Ker Range : 2(1889), Type: Tringilburra Creek and Mulgrave River. F. M. Bailey.
RFK Code
Copyright © CSIRO 2020, all rights reserved.