Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Trichospermum pleiostigma (F.Muell.) Kosterm.

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Flower. © Barry Jago
Flowers. © CSIRO
Leaves and Flowers. © CSIRO
Fruit. CC-BY J.L. Dowe
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO

Kostermans, A.G.J.H. (1972) Trans. Bot. Soc. Edinb. 41: 428.

Common name

Whitfield Ash; False Commersonia


Blaze darkening on exposure to a bright brown.


Leaf blades somewhat cordate, about 11-35 x 5.8-18 cm. Stellate hairs visible with a lens on both the upper and lower surfaces of the leaf blade. Leafy twigs and petioles hairy. Twig bark strong and fibrous when stripped.


Inflorescence densely clothed in stellate hairs. Sepals grey-green inside to almost violet outside, 6-8 mm long, stellate hairy or scaly on the inner and outer surfaces. Petals about 5-7 mm long, white glands at the base surrounded by a tuft of hairs. Staminal filaments purple, about 3-4 mm long, anthers bright yellow. Ovary villous, particularly towards the base, about 1 mm long, stigma +/- sessile.


Capsules about 6-8 mm long, villous, calyx lobes +/- persistent at the base. Seeds about 1.5 x 1.5 mm, covered with long, woolly hairs. Embryo about 1 mm long, cotyledons much wider than the radicle.


Cotyledons orbicular, about 2-3 mm diam. First pair of leaves broadly elliptic, margins toothed with about 4-10 teeth on each side. Upper surface clothed in short, white, simple hairs, lower surface clothed in sessile, stellate hairs. At the tenth leaf stage: leaves ovate, apex acute or acuminate, base rounded or cordate, upper surface hairy, margin serrate throughout; petiole, stem and terminal bud clothed in pale hairs; stipules small, ovate, hairy. Seed germination time 10 to 50 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in NEQ. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 350 m. Grows in lowland and foothill rain forest. This species is favoured by disturbance and is a characteristic component of rain forest regrowth. Also occurs in Malesia.

Althoffia pleiostigma (F.Muell.) Burret, Notizblatt des Botanischen Gartens und Museums zu Berlin-Dahlem 9 : 860(1924). Grewia pleiostigma F.Muell., Fragmenta Phytographiae Australiae 8: 4(1874), Type: Ad rivos orarios in virgultis juxta sinum marinum Rockinghams Bay; J. Dallachy.
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