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Uvaria rufa



Botanical Name

Uvaria rufa Blume

Blume, C.L. (1830) Flora Javae. Anonaceae: 19. Type: Java; iso(?): K. Fide J. Sinclair (1955).

Common name

Calabao; Torres Strait Scrambler


Usually grows as a large tree-top vine, stem diameters to 4 cm recorded but also flowers and fruits as a shrub. Vascular rays extend from the wood and into the bark where they may be more obvious. Blaze marked by cream granular stripes and darker fibrous stripes.


Leaf blades about 8-19 x 5-9 cm, petioles about 0.3-0.6 cm long. Both the upper and lower surfaces of the leaf blade, petioles and twigs clothed in brown stellate hairs. Lateral veins about 13-16 on either side of the midrib, curving and forming loops inside the blade margin. Oak grain in the twigs. Twig bark strong and fibrous when stripped.


Inflorescence opposite a leaf, i.e. leaf-opposed. Flowers about 19-30 mm diam. Sepals clothed in stellate hairs. Petals 3 + 3, in two whorls, each petal about 10 x 7 mm, pinkish orange to dull red in colour, densely stellate hairy on both the inner and outer surfaces. Stamens numerous, each anther about 2.5-3 x 1 mm, valves lateral, well below the apex, filaments short and stout, about 1 mm long. Carpels numerous, free, each carpel about 3-4 mm long and stellate hairy on the outer surface. Stigmas sessile.


Infructescence an 'umbel' of stalked carpels. Each carpel about 25-45 x 20-25 mm on a stalk about 15-20 mm long. Seeds about 9-10 x 7 mm, laterally compressed. Embryo about 1.5 mm long.


First pair of leaves ovate, lower surface clothed in stellate hairs, upper surface with stellate hairs along the midrib, stem clothed in stellate hairs. At the tenth leaf stage: leaves ovate-lanceolate, distichous (in one plane). Oil dots very small, visible only with a lens. Lateral veins forming loops inside the blade margin. Lower surface sparsely clothed in stellate hairs. Upper surface with a few stellate hairs along the midrib. Stem, petiole and terminal bud clothed in pale brown stellate hairs.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in CYP. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 350 m. Usually grows in monsoon forest or gallery rain forest. Also occurs in Thailand and Malesia including New Guinea.

Natural History

Food plant for the larval stages of the Green Spotted Triangle and Pale Green Triangle Butterflies. Sankowsky & Neilsen (2000).



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




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