Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Vavaea amicorum Benth.

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
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Flowers [not vouchered]. © G. Sankowsky
Leaves and flowers [not vouchered]. CC-BY F. Zich
Leaves and Flowers. © CSIRO
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, durian germination. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
1st leaf stage. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, durian germination. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, durian germination. © CSIRO

Bentham, G. (1843) Hooker's London Journal of Botany 2: 212. Type: Vavau Tonga, May 1840, G. Barclay s.n.; holo: K.

Common name



Blaze odour fragrant. Blaze darkening markedly on exposure. Lenticels numerous and conspicuous.


Leaf blades about 3-22 x 3-9.5 cm, clustered near the ends of the twigs but not really whorled. Terminal buds, young twigs and petioles densely clothed in pale brown hairs. Younger leaves hairy on the upper surface.


Inflorescence about 2-17 cm long, usually not exceeding the leaves. Calyx pubescent, about 1-5 mm long, shallowly or deeply lobed. Petals pubescent, broadly linear, oblong, oblanceolate, rarely spathulate, apex may be obtuse, about 4-10 mm long. Staminal filaments fused towards the base, villous on the inner surface. Disk reddish, cupular, adhering to the inner surface of the base of the staminal tube. Ovary villous, about 1-1.5 mm long, ovules about 1-3 per locule. Style about 2-5 mm long, hairy towards the base.


Fruits globular, 10-20 mm diam. Seeds globular, 8-10 mm diam., testa smooth.


Seed coat often remaining on top of seedling after first few leaves are produced. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade obovate, margin often sinuately lobed, apex obtuse, base cuneate, hairy on the upper surface; petiole, stem and terminal bud densely clothed in pale or golden hairs. Seed germination time 28 to 52 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in WA, NT, CYP, NEQ and CEQ. Altitudinal range from sea level to 200 m. Grows in well developed rain forest, monsoon forest, gallery forest and beach forest. Also occurs in Malesia and the Pacific islands.


Vavaea australiana S.T.Blake, Australian Journal of Botany 2(1): 122 (1954), Type: Northern Territtory, Sandstone tableland between Gerowie Creek and Mary R., 13 30 S., 132 E., 4 Oct. 1946, S. T. Blake, 17168; holo: BRI.

RFK Code
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