Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition
Triumfetta rhomboidea Jacq.
Jacquin, N.J. von (1760) Enumeratio Systematica Plantarum .. Caribaeis : 22. Type: West Indies.
Burr, Paroquet; Chinese Burr; Burr, Chinese; Paroquet Burr
Usually flowers and fruits as a shrub about 1-2 m tall but also flowers when smaller.
Leaf blades about 4-11 x 1.5-9 cm, margins frequently lobed. Stellate hairs present on both the upper and lower surfaces of the leaf blade but much more numerous on the lower surface. Stipules linear to narrowly triangular, clothed in simple hairs. Leaves emit a strong odour when crushed. Twig bark strong and fibrous when stripped.
Flowers often in 3-flowered umbels or umbel-like clusters. Sepals about 5-6 mm long, concave and apiculate at the apex. Petals about 4-6 mm long. Petals expanded below the apiculate apex. Each expanded section +/- encloses a group of three anthers. Stamens 15. Ovary densely clothed in pale +/- prostrate hairs or trichomes. Stigmas three, quite small.
Fruits plus spines about 6 mm diam., each spine 2-3 mm long with a microscopic hook at the end which allows the fruits to adhere to clothes or animal fur and thus enhance distribution. Seed +/- tear-shaped, pointed apex often black. Cotyledons green, endosperm white.
Cotyledons orbicular, about 11-13 x 10-12 mm, margin finely ciliate, petioles about 10 mm long. First pair of leaves alternate, margins toothed, stellate hairs present on both the upper and lower surfaces, particularly the lower surface. At the tenth leaf stage: stem, petiole and both the upper and lower surfaces of the leaf blade clothed in stellate hairs. Stipules filiform or narrowly triangular, about 3-5 mm long. Stem bark strong and fibrous when stripped. Seed germination time 8 to 43 days.
Food plant for the larval stages of the Peacock Jewel Butterfly. Common & Waterhouse (1981).