Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Tasmannia membranea (F.Muell.) A.C.Sm.

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
Click/tap on images to enlarge
Flower. CC-BY J.L. Dowe
Male flowers. © CSIRO
Fruit, three views, cross section and seeds. © W. T. Cooper
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO

Smith, A.C. (1969) Taxon 18: 287.

Common name

Pepper Tree


Oak grain in the wood. A small tree, usually less than 30 cm dbh.


Small oil dots visible with a lens. Leaf blades about 3.5-19 x 1.2-4 cm. Lateral veins forming a double series of loops well inside the blade margin. Leaf blade whitish on the underside of young leaves.


Perianth in two whorls of two, outer perianth segments about 5-6 x 4-5 mm. Inner perianth segments about 9-12 x 1.5-2 mm. Stamens about 30-45. Stigma sessile, attached to the apex and decurrent along one lateral margin almost to the base of the ovary.


Fruits (fruiting carpels) about 14-18 x 10-12 mm. Endosperm rather oily. Embryo very small, difficult to find, cotyledons very short, apex rounded.


Cotyledons about 6-8 x 4-5 mm, very pale, almost white on the underside, oil dots small, more numerous near the margin. First pair of leaves with small oil dots. At the tenth leaf stage: leaves glaucous on the underside, intramarginal vein present in upper 1/3 of leaf blade; oil dots clearly visible with a lens. Pairs of longitudinal ribs extending down the stem from the point of attachment of each petiole. Lateral veins forming loops inside the blade margin. Seed germination time 41 to 126 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to NEQ. Altitudinal range from 300-1550 m. Grows as an understory tree in upland and mountain rain forest.

Drimys membranea F.Muell., Fragmenta Phytographiae Australiae 5: 175(1865), Type: Ad fontes fluminis Mackay-River, ubi etiam Hedyotis Burmanniana et H. racemosa nascuntur. Dallachy.
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