Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Terminalia porphyrocarpa Benth.

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
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Leaves and inflorescences. CC-BY: APII, ANBG.
Flowers. CC-BY: APII, ANBG.

Bentham, G. (1864), Flora Australiensis 2: 501. Type: Queensland. Mount Archer, Rockhampton, Dallachy; Fitzroy river, Bowman.

Common name

Bandicoot Plum, Brown Damson


A tree to 18 m high, can flower as a small tree at 6 m, deciduous, fissured or furrowed bark. Branchlets with appressed hairs.


Leaves simple and alternate, spirally arranged and crowded at ends of branches common for genus. Stipules absent. Petioles 0.4-3 cm, with appressed hairs, occasionally with 1 or 2 obscure lateral glands present. Leaf blade oblanceolate to broadly obovate, about 3.5-10 x 2.5-6 (7.5) cm wide, base cuneate, margin entire, apex obtuse or shortly acuminate. Nectar-producing glands occasional on the underside of the leaf blade; domatia absent or if present seen at base of leaf on lower surface as quite obscure depressions with denser cluster of hairs in axil of lateral vein and midrib. Midrib raised or flush with the upper surface. Leaves glabrescent or remaining sparsely hairy.


Inflorescence an axillary spike, about the same length as leaves; bracts lanceolate to linear, 1-4 mm long, caducous. Flowers male towards apex of spike and bisexual usually towards base. Male flowers 3-4 mm long, bisexual flowers 6-7 mm long. Perianth of one whorl, usually glabrous inside and outside, tube sometimes pubescent; 5 lobed, lobes triangular, white, about 2 mm long. Staminal filaments 10, of different lengths, 5 short and 5 long, up to 4 mm, opposite and alternate with the perianth lobes; alternate stamens attached to tepals. Disk villous. Style glabrous. Ovary inferior, 1-locular.


Mature fruits glabrous, ovoid or globose, about 1-2 x 0.8-1.5cm, compressed and with lateral wings when immature, sometimes apiculate or beak absent. Mature fruit is green when fresh turning red to purple when ripe and black when dried. Seed about 10 mm long, cotyledons folded.


Features not available.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in CEQ. Found in dry rainforest and vine thicket communities and often associated with limestone.

Natural History & Notes

This species can be difficult to distinguish from T. melanocarpa and differentiating characters are discussed under that species. This profile information and associated coding has been adapted from Byrnes (1977) and Harden et al. (2014).

Myrobalanus porphyrocarpa (Benth.) Kuntze, Revisio Generum Plantarum 1: 237 (1891).Terminalia porphyrocarpa Benth. var. porphyrocarpa, Flora Australiensis 2: 502 (1864). Terminalia porphyrocarpa var. eriantha Benth., Flora Australiensis 2: 502. (1864). Type: Mount Archer, Dallachy. Terminalia thozetii Benth., Flora Australiensis 2: 500. (1864). Type: "Queensland. Rockhampton, Thozet." [given by N.Byrnes, Contr. Queensland Herb. 20 (1977) 50 as ".. Thozet 124 (holotype, MEL)."].
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