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Austromatthaea elegans



Botanical Name

Austromatthaea elegans L.S.Sm.

Smith, L.S. (1969) Contributions from the Queensland Herbarium 6: 6. Type: Queensland. Several miles NW of Kuranda, on Forest Res. 1073, Smith 10847 (holo: BRI.078528); Iso: CANB, MEL,K, NSW.


Flowers and fruits as a shrub 2-6 m tall.


Leaf blades about 11-20 x 2-4 cm, margins usually toothed, often somewhat irregularly, about 10-30 teeth on each side, petioles about 0.5-0.9 cm long. Lateral veins form distinct loops inside the leaf blade. Terminal buds clothed in pale yellowish-brown hairs. Oak grain in the twigs.


Inflorescence axillary but appears to be terminal. Perianth lobes thick and fleshy. Receptacle +/- flat-topped at or shortly after anthesis. Stamens 28-36, filaments about 0.1 mm long, anthers sessile, about 2.3 mm long. Carpels about 200, surrounded by and clothed in straight, pale yellowish brown hairs.


Fruiting carpels numerous, about 20 but maybe as high as 45, normally borne on a yellowish-orange receptacle, carpels glabrous, ellipsoid or obovoid, about 10-15 mm long. Seed about 9-12 mm long. Embryo about 5-7 mm long. Cotyledons about 4-6 mm long, linear, slightly wider than the radicle. Cotyledons sometimes unequal in size with the larger one +/- enveloping the smaller one.


First pair of true leaves opposite, margins toothed. Seedling clothed in erect golden hairs. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade +/- ovate, apex acute, base obtuse, hairy on both the upper and lower surfaces, lateral veins forming distinct loops inside the blade margin.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to NEQ. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 1000 m. Grows as an understory plant in well developed, undisturbed, lowland, upland and mountain rain forest.



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


RFK Code