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

Actephila vernicosa



Botanical Name

Actephila vernicosa P.I.Forst.

Forster, P.I. (2005) Austrobaileya 7: 91. Type: Queensland, Millaa Millaa Falls, 23 June 1997, P.I Forster PIF 21249. Holo: BRI. Iso: DMA, MEL, NSW.


Actephila sp. (Wooroonooran N.P. P.I. Forster PIF 17151), Queensland Plants Names & Distribution: (1997), Type: ?. Actephila sp. (Millaa Millaa RJ 494), : (), Type: ?.


Usually flowers and fruits as a shrub about 1-3 m tall, sometimes flowers when smaller.


Leaf blades about 5-8 x 2.5-3.5 cm, petioles about 0.2-0.5 cm long. Lateral veins about 5-12 on each side of the midrib. Stipules small, less than 1 mm long. Terminal buds enclosed in a number of bracts or scales. Leaves alternate but often arranged in whorl-like clusters or in pairs.


Male flowers: Flowers about 5 mm diam., pedicels about 4-6 mm long. Anthers about 4-5, about 0.5 mm wide, filaments about 2 mm long. A large flat disc surrounds the rudimentary ovary which has a tuft of brown hairs at the apex. Female flowers: Flowers pedicels about 7-15 mm long, a large flat disc surrounds the ovary. Ovary about 1 mm diam. Stigmas three, each bilobed at the apex.


Capsules depressed globular, about 12 x 18 cm, disintegrating completely at maturity. Tepals persistent at the base and styles at the apex. Pedicels about 25 mm long. Seeds about 2-4 per fruit. Seeds angular, about 9 mm long. Cotyledons folded many times.


Cotyledons +/- orbicular, about 25 x 20-27 mm, base cordate, apex rounded. First pair of leaves elliptic, margins smooth, midrib raised on the upper surface. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blades obovate, very attenuate at the base, lateral veins forming loops inside the blade margin. Stipules brown, broadly triangular, about 1 mm long or less. Terminal bud enclosed in overlapping bracts. Cotyledons usually still present at the tenth leaf stage.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to NEQ, known only from collections made at a few sites on the Atherton Tableland. Altitudinal range from 600-800 m. Grows as an understory plant in well developed upland rain forest.



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


RFK Code