Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Wrightia pubescens subsp. penicillata (F.M.Bailey) Ngan

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
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Flowers. © CSIRO
Leaves and Flowers. © CSIRO
Leaves and Flowers. © CSIRO
Leaves and Flowers. © CSIRO
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO

Ngan, P.T. (1965) Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden 52: 153.

Common name



Grows into a small tree but also flowers and fruits as a shrub. Bark exudate copious.


Leaf stalks produce a milky exudate. Stipules very small and inconspicuous. Leaf blades about 8-15 x 4-6.5 cm, petioles about 0.4-0.8 cm long. Lateral veins about 9-11 on each side of the midrib. Hairs present on both the upper and lower surfaces of the leaf blade.


Flowers about 20-30 mm diam., emitting an unpleasant odour. Inflorescence about 4-5 cm long, shorter than the leaves. Calyx lobes about 2.5 mm long. Five ovate glands each about 0.5-0.6 mm long attached to the inner surface of the calyx lobes. Corolla tube subcylindrical to campanulate, constricted at the orifice, about 5-6.5 mm long, lobes narrowly obovate to obovate, about 10-20 mm long, puberulent. Corona dentate to crenulate. Staminal filaments less than 1 mm long, almost as wide as the base of the anther. Anthers about 6 mm long, broad at the base and tapering to the apex. Ovaries glabrous, about 1.5 mm long. Style about 7 mm long.


Follicles 20-35 cm long, lenticellate. Seeds about 20 mm long with a tuft of white silky hairs about 40 mm long at one end. Cotyledons convolute.


Cotyledons cordate-reniform, about 18-22 x 17-21 mm, somewhat asymmetrical, the midrib closer to one side than the other. Base shallowly cordate top truncate. Lower surface clothed in minute hairs, white hairs are restricted to the midrib on the upper surface. First leaves ovate, apex acute to acuminate, base obtuse. Hypocotyl clothed in hairs. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade +/- elliptical, apex acuminate with a slightly thickened tip, base obtuse. Midrib hairy, raised in a depression on the upper surface of the leaf blade. Very small oil dots visible with a lens. Stipules small, filiform-linear, about 0.8 mm long. Stem broader and flatter at the nodes than at the internodes.

Distribution and Ecology

Widespread in CYP, NEQ and CEQ. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 600 m. Grows in monsoon forest and vine thickets.

Wrightia pubescens var. penicillata F.M.Bailey, The Queensland Flora 6: 2010(1902), Type: Mapoon, 22 May 1901, J.F. Bailey 309.
RFK Code
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