Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Terminalia muelleri Benth.

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
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Flowers. © G. Sankowsky
Leaves and flowers. © G. Sankowsky
Fruit, side view and cross section. © W. T. Cooper
Habit. © G. Sankowsky
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO

Bentham, G. (1864) Flora Australiensis 2: 500. Type: Edgecombe Bay, Qld, J. Dallachy ; lecto: MEL, iso: K. Fide N. B. Byrnes, Contr. Queensland Herb. 20: 32 (1977).

Common name

Mueller's Damson; Australian Almond; Almond, Australian


Deciduous; leafless for a period in November. Blaze fibres interlocked.


Leaf blades about 5-15 x 2.5-8 cm. Two flat or slightly raised glands present on the underside of the leaf blade close to the base, one on either side of the midrib. Domatia are tufts of hairs covering small foveoles. Oil dots visible with a lens.


Inflorescence as long as or shorter than the leaves, bracts linear, about 1 mm long, caducous. Perianth tube appressed pubescent, lobes acute, about 2 x 2 mm, glabrous inside and out. Staminal filaments about 3 mm long. Disk villous. Style glabrous.


Mature fruits glabrous or with a few scattered weak hairs, ovoid or ellipsoid, about 12-20 x 8-15 mm, sometimes slightly compressed, without angles or ridges, with or without a very short beak. Seed about 8-9 x 2-2.5 mm, cotyledons convolute.


Cotyledons wider than long, about 13-15 x 17-23 mm, apex truncate, base rounded, upper surface with a few hairs towards the base. At the tenth leaf stage: leaves obovate, apex acute, obtuse or shortly acuminate, base cuneate, hairy on the upper surface; oil dots small, scattered, difficult to see; petioles, stem and terminal bud densely hairy. Seed germination time 98 to 180 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to Queensland, occurs in CYP, NEQ and CEQ. Altitudinal range from sea level to about 100 m, occasionally getting as high as 500 m. Grows in beach forest usually on sand dunes but also found in monsoon forest.

Natural History & Notes

Food plant for the larval stages of the Common Oakblue Butterfly. Common & Waterhouse (1981).

Terminalia muelleri Benth. var. muelleri, Flora Australiensis 2: 501(1864). Myrobalanus muelleri (Benth.) Kuntze, Revisio Generum Plantarum 1: 237(1891). Terminalia microcarpa Decne., Nouvelles Annales du Museum d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris 3 : 457(1835), Type: cette meme espece se retrouve sur les cotes meridionales de la Nouvelle-Hollande, dou elle a ete rapportee parles naturalistes de lexp Terminalia muelleri var. minor Benth., Flora Australiensis 2: 501(1864), Type: Endeavour river, Banks and Solander; islands of Carpentaria (no fruit), R. Brown.
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