Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Zieria alata Duretto & P.I.Forst.

Herb (herbaceous or woody, under 1 m tall)
Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
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Leaves and flower. © R.L. Barrett
Flower. © R.L. Barrett
Flower. © R.L. Barrett

Zieria alata Duretto & P.I.Forst. (2007) Austrobaileya 7(3): 482. Type: Queensland. Cook District: North Mary Logging Area, State Forest 143, 17 July 1994, P.I.Forster PIF15630, G.Sankowsky & M.C.Tucker (holo: BRI; iso: MEL, NSW).


Shrub to 3 m tall. Stems erect to decumbent, wiry; branches with prominent, narrow and raised decurrent leaf bases, prominently glandular verrucose especially along decurrent leaf bases; stellate hairs present. Older branches not lenticellate and corky.


Palmately trifoliolate; petioles 12-18 mm long, slightly glandular verrucose, glabrous or glabrescent; leaflets usually elliptic to obovate, 22-41 mm x 7-13 mm, laminae not glandular verrucose, glabrous, margins entire or crenulate towards tip.


Inflorescence axillary, shorter than subtending leaf, 3-7 (-12)-flowered, with 1-3 open at a time.; peduncle 8-16 mm long, with prominent ridges; pedicels 2-2.5 mm long, prominently ridged. Sepals broadly deltate, 0.7 mm long and wide. Petals elliptic, 3.5-4 x 1.7-2 mm, white, cream or pale pink. Stellate hairs present on sepals and petals. Gynoecium glabrous.


3 x 1.7 mm, smooth, glabrous, base of style persistent forming a minute apical apiculum. Mature seeds not observed.


Cotyledons about 5-10 x 2 mm. First pair of leaves trifoliolate and opposite. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf trifoliolate, leaflet blades sessile or shortly stalked, aromatic when crushed, oil dots rather sparse, not particularly obvious, lateral veins forming loops inside the blade margin. Compound leaf petiole grooved on the upper surface and the margin narrowly winged. Stem longitudinally ribbed.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to Queensland in NEQ where it is narrowly distributed in the Wet Tropics. Confined to areas over 1000 m altitude west of Mossman and Daintree River. Occurs in windswept heath and stunted closed forest

Natural History & Notes

This species differs from Z. montana by having fewer flowers per inflorescence (3-12 versus 10-20), markedly glandular verrucose leaf decurrences (versus slightly or not so) and acute leaves (versus obtuse).

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