Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Tephrosia dietrichiae Domin

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

Domin, K. (1926) Bibliotheca Botanica 89(3): 750. Type: Queensland, Amalie Dietrich 2194. Holo: ?.


Flowers and fruits as a shrub about 1-1.5 m tall, sometimes fertile when only 50 cm tall.


Stipules linear, about 3-4 mm long. Leaflets 5-23 per leaf. Leaflet blades about 8-22 x 4-10 mm, leaflet stalks about 0.8-1.0 mm long except for the stalk of the terminal leaflet which can be about 5 mm long. Leaflet underside densely clothed in appressed white hairs. Upper surface of the leaflet blades clothed in pale +/- prostrate hairs. Lateral veins extending to the margin of the leaflet blade.


Pedicels about 3 mm long. Flowers about 12-13 x 15 mm. Calyx tube about 1.5-2 mm long, lobes unequal, about 1-3 mm long. Outer surface of the sepals hairy. Petals: standard about 5-7 mm diam., wings about 8 mm long, keel shorter than the wings. Stamens 10, the filaments of nine fused to form a tube about 8 mm long, the free part of the filaments about 1-3 mm long, alternately long and short, the filament of the other stamen free at the base but fused to the others for much of its length. Base of the filament tube hairy on the outer surface. Ovary hairy, about 4 mm long, style about 2 mm long.


Fruits about 30-40 x 3-4 mm. Calyx persistent at the base. Seeds about 6-9 per pod, testa pale brown to yellow brown. Cotyledons about 3.8 mm along the longest side, radicle about 1.8 mm long.


Cotyledons oblong, about 9-10 x 4 mm, oblique at the base. First true leaf simple, lanceolate. Second leaf trifoliolate. All plant parts hairy. At the tenth leaf stage: seedlings have an overall greyish-green appearance. Compound leaves with about 17-23 leaflets. Leaflet blades about 23 x 19 mm, densely clothed in long, erect pale hairs on the underside while the upper surface is more sparsely clothed in shorter hairs or almost glabrous. Lateral veins extend all the way from the midrib to the leaflet blade margins. Stipules linear, hairy, about 5-6 mm long. Terminal bud, stem and petiole densely hairy. Seed germination time 14 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to Queensland, occurs in NEQ, CEQ and southwards as far as coastal central Queensland. Altitudinal range in NEQ from 300-450 m. Often grows in open forest but also found in vine thickets and monsoon forest. Sometimes associated with limestone.

Natural History & Notes

This species is of no grazing significance. Hacker (1990).

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