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Atractocarpus merikin

Family

Rubiaceae

Botanical Name

Atractocarpus merikin (F.M.Bailey) Puttock

Puttock, C.F. (1999) Australian Systematic Botany 12: 292. Type: ?.

Synonyms

Gardenia merikin F.M.Bailey, The Queensland Flora 6: 2005(1902), Type: Queensland, Atherton, W.E. Roth 339; holo: BRI.

Common name

Gardenia, Mountain; Merikin; Gardenia; Mountain Gardenia

Stem

Usually flowers and fruits as a shrub about 1-3 m tall, occasionally grows to a height of 5 m.

Leaves

Stipules about 4-8 mm long, +/- encircling the twigs, stipules drawn out into a tip at the apex, mainly glabrous except for a line of hairs along the midrib on the outer surface. Leaf blades about 14-18 x 4.5-6 cm, petioles very short or nil. Lateral veins about 8-12, forming loops inside the blade margin.

Flowers

Calyx densely clothed in prostrate hairs on the outer surface, calyx lobes about 1 mm long. Corolla tube dilated in the upper half, about 15-20 mm long, lobes about 30 mm long. Anthers about 7 mm long; anthers included in the corolla tube.

Fruit

Fruit ovoid, about 55-70 x 40-45 mm, circular in transverse section. Calyx lobes persistent at the apex. Seeds patelliform, about 6-8 x 6 mm. Embryo about 2 mm long. Cotyledons +/- orbicular, about 1.5 mm diam., much wider than the radicle.

Seedlings

Cotyledons cordate or orbicular, about 10-11 mm diam. First pair of leaves opposite. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade spathulate, +/- sessile, hairs on the outer surface at least along the midrib. Lateral veins forming loops inside the blade margin. Stipules interpetiolar, about 7 mm long, +/- encircling the twigs.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to NEQ. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 1200 m. Grows as an understory plant in well developed lowland, upland and mountain rain forest.

Natural History

This shrub has very good horticultural potential being easy to cultivate and produces large, white, highly perfumed flowers.

NEQ

X

Herb (herbaceous or woody, under 1 m tall)

X

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

X

RFK Code

3164