Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Turraea pubescens Hell.

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
Click/tap on images to enlarge
Flower. © R.L. Barrett
Flower. © G. Sankowsky
Flowers. © CSIRO
Fruit. © R.L. Barrett
Dehisced fruit. © R.L. Barrett
Fruit, side view and dehisced. © W. T. Cooper
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO

Hellenius, C.N. (1788) Kongl. Vetenskaps Academiens Nya Handlingar 9: 309. Type: China, Hainan, J.T. Fagraeus s.n. The plate associatedwith the type description, t. 10, fig. 3.

Common name



A small tree seldom exceeding 20 cm dbh. Inner blaze finely layered. Blaze odour noticeable but difficult to describe.


Terminal buds and young shoots clothed in pale, almost prostrate hairs. Leaflet blades about 5-11 x 2-6 cm. Hairs visible on the upper surface of the leaf blade with the aid of a lens. Domatia, if present, are tufts of hairs.


Inflorescences longer than the leaves. Pedicels about 7-8 mm long. Calyx pubescent on the outer surface, tube about 1.5 mm long, lobes narrow, about 1 mm long. Petals glabrous, about 22-27 mm long. Staminal tube about 20-25 mm long, lobed or fringed at the apex, anthers +/- sessile, rostrate. Disk +/- cupular, small and inconspicuous. Ovary about 1 mm long. Style about 16 mm long, stigma about 2.5 mm long.


Fruits +/- discoid or depressed globular, about 8-10 x 12-16 mm before opening, inner surface bright yellow, calyx persistent at the base. Seeds about 5 x 3.5 mm, aril +/- lateral not enclosing the seed. Embryo about 4-5 mm long, cotyledons many times wider than the radicle.


Cotyledons obovate, 13-20 mm long with a few hairs towards the base. First few leaves usually toothed or lobed. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade obovate or elliptic, apex acute, base cuneate or attenuate, hairy on the upper surface, underside sometimes with domatia (tufts of hairs); petiole hairy. Seed germination time 51 to 304 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in WA, NT, CYP, NEQ, CEQ and southwards as far as north-eastern New South Wales. Altitudinal range from sea level to 900 m. Grows in monsoon forest and dry scrubs. Also occurs in Asia and Malesia.

Natural History & Notes

This deciduous shrub to small tree has great horticultural potential for tropical gardens. Masses of cream flowers are produced just before the new leaves.

Turraea brownii C.DC., Monographiae Phanerogamarum 1 : 442(1878), Type: In Australiae Broad Land (Brown! in herb. suo).
RFK Code
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