Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Xanthostemon verticillatus (C.T.White & W.D.Francis) L.S.Sm.

Herb (herbaceous or woody, under 1 m tall)
Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
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Leaves and Flowers. © B. Gray
Leaves and Flowers. © B. Gray
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO

Smith, L.S. (1956) Proceedings of the Royal Society of Queensland 67: 38.

Common name

Bloomfield Penda; Penda, Bloomfield


Usually poorly formed and multistemmed as a result of flood damage.


Leaves in whorls of 3-5. Leaf blades rather narrow, about 5-6 x 1-1.5 cm, petioles about 0.4-0.5 cm long. Oil dots visible with a lens. Generally 1 or 2 oil dots per reticulation. Old leaves turn red prior to falling.


Calyx tube (hypanthium) glabrous, about 5-6 x 10-12 mm, lobes glabrous outside, pubescent inside, broadly triangular, about 3.5-4 mm long. Petals pubescent, variable in shape, about 6-8 mm long, with linear, pubescent, staminode glands about 3 mm long at the base. Stamens about 40-50. Staminal filaments cream, about 15-20 mm long, each inserted in an orifice in the base of the anther, anthers about 1-1.5 mm long. Ovary glabrous, surrounded by but not enclosed in the calyx tube (hypanthium). Ovary about 4 mm diam., placentas peltate. Style about 28-35 mm long. Stigma small and terminal.


Fruits +/- globular, about 7-10 mm diam. (excluding the persistent calyx at the base). Seeds flat, about 3 mm long. Embryo features not available. Radicle features not available.


Cotyledons almost orbicular, about 4-5 mm diam. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade narrowly elliptic or obovate, apex acute, base attenuate, upper surface with a few hairs along midrib towards the base and about the margin of the leaf blade; oil dots very small, visible with a lens, more obvious near the margin of the leaf blade; petiole hairy. Seed germination time 11 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to NEQ, restricted to the Daintree River and Bloomfield River watersheds. Altitudinal range probably quite small, from near sea level to 100 m. Grows as a rheophyte along creeks and rivers.

Natural History & Notes

This little-known species has great potential for horticulture. A small tree that in cultivation flowers as a shrub or grown in a pot. The flowers are pale yellow.

Metrosideros verticillata C.T.White & W.D.Francis, Queensland Dept. Agric. Bot. Bull. 22: 24(1920), Type: Qld, Bloomfield River, nov. 1902, W. Poland; holo: BRI.
RFK Code
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