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Breynia cernua

Family

Phyllanthaceae

Botanical Name

Breynia cernua (Poir.) Mull.Arg.

Mueller Argoviensis, J. (1866) Prodromus 15: 439. Type: ?.

Synonyms

Melanthesa cernua Decne., Nouvelles Annales du Museum d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris 3: 483(1835), Type: Timor, J. Decaisne; holo: P?.

Common name

Imer; Gamer; Gagilamo; Gambiran

Stem

Usually flowers and fruits as a shrub 1-2 m tall.

Leaves

Leaves arranged distichously on twigs so that each twig resembles a compound leaf. Stipules broadly triangular, small but persistent, about 1-2 mm long. Leaf blades about 25-40 x 15-23 mm. Lateral veins forming fairly distinct loops inside the blade margin. Leaves do NOT emit an obnoxious odour when crushed.

Flowers

Flowers about 1-1.5 mm diam. at anthesis. Male flowers: Flowers with sessile anthers, fused to one another to form a staminal column in the centre of the flower. Female flowers: Flowers with a perianth that resembles an eggcup with the gynoecium enclosed like an egg in an eggcup. Style fleshy and swollen.

Fruit

Tepals persistent at the base of the fruit. Fruit about 5-8 mm diam. A lateral cavity exists within the testa, and the endosperm and embryo are curved to accommodate the cavity.

Seedlings

Cotyledons elliptic to obovate, about 8-10 x 4-5 mm. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade with a very small mucro at the apex, leaves arranged distichously on lateral shoots so that each lateral shoot resembles a compound leaf. Stipules triangular, about 0.5-2 mm long.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in WA, NT, CYP, NEQ and southwards as far as coastal central Queensland. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 800 m. Grows in beach forest, monsoon forest and vine thickets. Also occurs in Malesia.

Natural History

Food plant for the larval stages of the Common Grass Yellow Butterfly. Common & Waterhouse (1981).

WA

X

NT

X

CYP

X

NEQ

X

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

X

RFK Code

3067