Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Vitex lignum-vitae A.Cunn. ex Schauer

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
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Buds. © G. Sankowsky
Flowers. © G. Sankowsky
Flower. © G. Sankowsky
Flower. © G. Sankowsky
Leaves and fruit. © G. Sankowsky
Leaves, buds and flowers. © G. Sankowsky
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Trunk. © G. Sankowsky

Schaeur, J.C. in Candolle, A.L.P.P. de (1847) Prodromus 11: 692. Type: In sylvaticis juxta flumen Brisbane-River in sinu Moreton-Bay Novae Hollandiae orient. (A. Cunningh.!).

Common name

Satinwood; Yellow Hollywood; Lignum-vitae


Stem usually conspicuously fluted or channelled. Dead bark layered. Hard, brittle, longitudinal stripes present in the blaze.


Leaf blades about 7.5-11 x 2.5-4.5 cm, petioles about 1-2.5 cm long. Scattered, yellow glands visible with a lens on the underside of the leaf blade. Lateral veins form loops inside the blade margin. Lateral veins depressed on the upper surface, usually forming loops inside the blade margin. Domatia are foveoles with a small orifice.


Calyx truncate at the apex, about 2.5-4 mm long, densely glandular and rusty pubescent outside. Outer surface of the corolla clothed in shiny yellow glands. Corolla about 9-15 mm long, tube broad, about 6.5-10 mm long, at least twice as long as the calyx, lobes about 3-4 mm long. Stamens exserted, filaments glabrous, but villous towards the base, about 7-11 mm long. Pollen white or cream. Ovary +/- globose, glabrous, about 1-2 mm diam. Style glabrous, about 9-15 mm long, stigmas two.


Fruit obovoid-globose, glabrous, about 5-18 x 5-20 mm.


Features not available.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to Australia, occurs in NEQ, south eastern Queensland and north-eastern New South Wales but not in coastal central Queensland. Altitudinal range in NEQ not known but collected at 950-1000 m. Grows in well developed mountain rain forest.

Premna lignum-vitae (Schauer) Pieper, Botanische Jahrbucher 62 (Beibl. 141) : 80(1928).
RFK Code
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