Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Trachymene tenuifolia (Domin) B.L.Burtt

Herb (herbaceous or woody, under 1 m tall)
Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
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Flowers, young fruit and leaves. © CSIRO
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO

Burtt, B.L. (1941) Journal of Botany, British and Foreign 79: 45.

Common name

Hooker's Trachymene


Usually flowers and fruits as a shrub about 1 m tall but also flowers when smaller.


Crushed leaves emit an odour like that of celery (Apium graveolens) or parsnip (Pastinaca sativa). Stems longitudinally grooved. Leaves rather variable depending on the position on the plant, about 3.5-11 x 3.5-14 cm. Leaves palmatisect, pinnatisect or bipinnatisect. 'Stipules' (small hair-like structures about 1 mm long) visible on the lower part of the petiole and sometimes on the stems or twigs. Compound leaf petiole much longer than the leaflets or lobes.


Flowers borne in umbels about 7-10 mm diam. Pedicels about 2 mm long. Flowers about 2 mm diam. Calyx lobes very small, not visible to the naked eye. Petals about 1 mm long. Anther filaments about 1.5 mm long, inserted outside the disk, anthers about 0.3 mm long. Pollen white or translucent. Ovules 1 per locule. Styles two, about 0.8 mm long, stigmas no wider than the styles.


Individual fruits about 2-3.5 x 3 mm, usually wider than long. Each fruit consisting of two tuberculate mericarps, each mericarp containing one seed. Seeds about 3 x 2 mm. Embryo about 0.2-0.3 mm long, cotyledons cylindrical.


Cotyledons linear, about 8-9 x 1-2 mm, petiole very short or absent. First leaf palmatisect, trilobed or trifoliolate. At the tenth leaf stage: leaves palmatisect, deeply and intricately divided resembling parsley (Petroselinum hortense). Petioles about as long as the divided leaf blade (about 7 cm long) shallowly grooved on the upper surface. Freshly broken stems and roots emit an odour like that of celery or parsley. Seed germination time 169 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to Queensland, occurs in CYP and NEQ. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 1000 m. Usually grows in open forest but also found in disturbed or burnt areas in monsoon forest and vine thickets.


Didiscus tenuifolius Domin, Monographie der Gattung Didiscus (DC.): 58  , Type: Australia, sine statione indicata, e Neapoli misit SPRENGER (sub no. 26). Trachymene procumbens var. hookeri (Domin) F.M.Bailey, Compr. cat. Queensl. pl. : 228(1913). Didiscus procumbens var. hookeri Domin, Sitzungsber. Konigl. Bohm. Ges. Wiss. Prag. 10: 55(1908), Type: Queensland, Lizard Island, Aug. 1848, J. MacGillivray s.n.; lecto: K. Fide A. E. Holland (1989) Austrobaileya 3: 135 - 139. Trachymene montana A.E.Holland, Austrobaileya 3(3): 404, Type: Queensland. COOK DISTRICT: Tinaroo Creek Forestry Road, near Mt Haig, c 4.5 km NNW of Danbulla, (17°06'S, 145°36"E), September 1980, J.R.Clarkson 3436 (holo: BRI(AQ346129)).

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