Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Wrightia pubescens R.Br. subsp. pubescens

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
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10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO

Brown, R. (1965) Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden 52: 152.

Common name

Dediteh; Mentaos; Tawas


Exudate rapid and copious.


Petioles and twigs produce a milky exudate. Bristle-like hairs (stipules) wedged between the base of the petiole and the twig. 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. Midrib depressed on the upper surface. Both the upper and lower surfaces of the leaf blades hairy.


Inflorescence about 4-5 cm long, shorter than the leaves. Flowers about 20-30 mm diam. Calyx lobes about 2-5 mm long, ciliate, glabrous to densely puberulent. Five ovate glands each about 0.5-0.6 mm long attached to the inner surface of the calyx lobes, +/- one per lobe. 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 fimbriate, about as long as the stamens. 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 about 1.5 mm long, glabrous. Style about 7 mm long.


Follicles about 15-30 cm long, lenticellate. Seeds about 10-13 mm long, with a tuft of white silky hairs about 35 mm long at one end. Cotyledons convolute.


Cotyledons cordate 12-15 x 13-15 mm, apex acute or obtuse. First pair of leaves lanceolate, about 25-30 x 8-10 mm, margins smooth, hairs present at least on the midrib and lateral veins on the underside. At the tenth leaf stage: leaves lanceolate or ovate, apex acuminate, base cuneate, both the upper and lower surfaces hairy at least along the midrib; very small oil dots may be just visible with a lens; petioles and stem clothed in short pale hairs. Seed germination time 18 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Widespread in WA and NT. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 300 m. Grows in monsoon forest and drier rain forests. Also occurs in Malesia.

Wrightia pubescens R.Br., On the Asclepiadeae : 75(1810), Type: v.v. [given by Ngan, Ann. Missouri Bot. Gard. 52 (1965) 150 as Brown 2861, photo MO!]. Wrightia pubescens R.Br., Prodromus Florae Novae Hollandiae : 467(1810), Type: v.v. [given by Ngan, Ann. Missouri Bot. Gard. 52 (1965) 150 as Brown 2861, photo MO!]. Wrightia pubescens R.Br. var. pubescens, The Queensland Flora 6: 2010(1902).
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