Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants banner
  • Species information
  • About
  • Resources
  • Home

Leea indica



Botanical Name

Leea indica (Burm.f.) Merr.

Merrill, E.D. (1919) Philippine Journal of Science 14: 245. Type: ?.


Leea sambucina Willd., Species Plantarum ed. 4, 1: 1177(1798), Type: ?. Staphylea indica Burm. f., Fl. Ind.: 75(1768), Type: Burman, N. L. (1768) Fl. Ind. 75, t. 23 fig. 2, description. Fide Ridsdale (1974).

Common name

Ki Toowa; Mali-mali Hanteo; Soolangkar; Bandicoot Berry


Usually flowers and fruits as a shrubby plant about 2-4 m tall but can grow taller. Never looks like a tree. Stems very pithy but vascular rays usually visible in the vascular tissue around the periphery.


Stipules rather large (1.5-6 cm long) sheathing the terminal bud and adhering to the base of the petiole. Compound leaves quite large, about 0.5-1 m long. Leaflet blades about 6-21 x 1.5-9 cm. Stalk of the terminal leaflet much longer than those of the lateral leaflets. Lateral veins curving and forming fairly distinct loops just inside the blade margin. Compound leaf axis swollen at its junction with the secondary axes. Leaflet stalks and compound leaf axes grooved on the upper surface.


Inflorescence leaf opposed. Calyx lobes about 1-2 mm long. Corolla tube about 2.5-3.5 mm long. Basal part of the petals attached to the staminal tube. Staminal filaments attached to the outside of the staminal tube but arched over the rim of the tube so that the anthers are hanging inside the staminal tube. Ovary 6-locular, one ovule per locule. Style shorter than the tubular disk.


Calyx 5-lobed, persistent at the base of the fruit. Fruit depressed globular, 5-15 mm diam. Seeds about six per fruit, each seed about 5 x 4 mm. Embryo very small, linear, cotyledons very short and no wider than the radicle.


Cotyledons about 15-20 x 10-16 mm, petiole 4-5 mm long, shorter than the blade. First pair of leaves with toothed margins. At the tenth leaf stage: stipules about 20-45 mm long, enclosing the terminal bud and also attached to the base of the petiole. Stalk of the terminal leaflet much longer than those of the lateral leaflets.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in NT, CYP, NEQ and southwards to coastal central Queensland. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 300 m. Grows in disturbed areas of lowland and upland rain forest. Also occurs in Asia, Malesia and the Pacific islands.

Natural History

This usually multi-stemmed plant with large tripinnate leaves is already in cultivation and is ideal in a courtyard planting.

This species may have medicinal properties. ( /herbage/A14984.htm)







Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)


RFK Code