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Mallotus mollissimus

Family

Euphorbiaceae

Botanical Name

Mallotus mollissimus (Geiseler) Airy Shaw

Airy Shaw, H.K. (1972) Kew Bulletin 26: 297. Type: ?.

Synonyms

Echinus mollissimus (Geiseler) Baill., Adansonia 6: 316(1866), Type: ?. Croton mollissimus Geiseler, Croton. Monogr.: 73(1807), Type: China ?, Herb. Vahl s.n.; Holo: C; photo A. FideSierra et al. (2005), not Forster (1999). Mallotus ricinoides (Pers.) Mull.Arg., Linnaea 34: 187(1865), Type: ?. Mallotus pycnostachys F.Muell., Fragm. 4: 138(1864), Type: Queensland, Mt Elliott, 5 Aug. 1863; holo: MEL. Fide Forster (1999). Croton ricinoides Pers., Syn. 2: 586(1807), Type: India, 1800, Lahaye; Lecto: P-JU 16578, holo: P. Fide Forster (1999). The type may have Malesian origin Sierra el al. (2005).

Common name

Kamala, Green; Green Kamala; Woolly Mallotus; Soft Kamala; Kamala

Stem

Seldom exceeding 30 cm dbh.

Leaves

Young shoots and younger leaf bearing twigs densely clothed in short pale brown stellate hairs. Freshly broken twigs producing a small amount of dark coloured exudate, mainly from the pith. Stellate hairs and small yellowish glands visible with a lens on the underside of the leaf blade. Small oil dots visible with a lens. Leaf blades about 13-28 x 9-23 cm.

Flowers

Floral bracts shorter than the flowers at anthesis. Flowers about 3-5 mm diam. Outer surface of the tepals densely clothed in stellate hairs. Ovary densely stellate hairy and echinate, the trichomes also stellate hairy and difficult to distinguish.

Fruit

Capsules echinate and densely stellate hairy. The trichomes are also densely stellate hairy, so that the fruit itself is completely obscured. Seeds +/- globular or lachrimiform, about 3 mm diam.

Seedlings

Cotyledons ovate or broadly ovate, about 12-15 mm long, hairy on the upper surface. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade cordate-ovate, apex acuminate, base peltate, cordate or obtuse, both the upper and lower surfaces with white stellate hairs, upper surface with two glands near the junction of the petiole, lower surface with numerous pale yellow glands; petiole and terminal bud densely clothed in pale or white stellate hairs.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in CYP, NEQ and southwards to south eastern Queensland. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 800 m. This species is favoured by disturbance and grows in gaps in well developed rain forest or on the margins of rain forest. It is a typical regrowth species in coastal lowland and upland rain forest. Also occurs in Asia, Malesia and the Pacific islands.

CYP

X

NEQ

X

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

X

Tree

X

RFK Code

375