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Derris koolgibberah



Botanical Name

Derris koolgibberah F.M.Bailey

Bailey, F.M. (1889) Botany of the Bellenden-Ker Expedition (in Meston: Report of the Government Scientific Expedition to Bellenden-Ker Range): 38. Type: Queensland, Border of scrubs along the Mulgrave River, (holo: BRI?).


Derris koolgibberah F.M.Bailey subsp. koolgibberah, Kew Bulletin 32(2): 469(1978), Type: ?.

Common name

Hairy Derris; Derris, Hairy


Vine stem diameters to 5 cm recorded. Blaze odour resembles that of green beans (Phaseolus vulgaris).


Leaflet blades about 8-13 x 6-8 cm, leaflet stalks about 0.5-0.7 cm long. Stipules fleshy, hairy, about 4 x 2 mm. Young shoots, petioles and compound leaf rhachises clothed in rusty or brown hairs.


Inflorescence up to 60 cm long, sometimes longer, densely clothed in rusty brown hairs. Flowers about 9-10 mm diam. Calyx about 5 mm long, calyx lobes about 1 mm long. Petals: standard reniform, about 7 x 10 mm, mainly white or pale pink on the inner surface except for a green triangular area near the base; wings about 5 mm long; keel about 5 mm long, densely clothed in brown hairs. Stamens 10, the filaments of nine stamens fused for two thirds of their length to form a tube open on one side. One stamen free. Ovary about 6 mm long, densely clothed in pale brown hairs. Ovules about 9-11.


Fruits flat, about 6-11 x 1.5-2 cm, winged on one margin. Wing about 2-3 mm wide. Pods clothed in brown hairs. Seeds 1-3 per fruit, each seed reniform, about 4-5 x 6-7 mm. Hilum about 1 mm long in the sinus, i.e. the inside curve. Radicle about 1.3 mm long, curved along the edge of the cotyledons, much shorter and narrower than the cotyledons.


Cotyledons about 11-12 x 5-7 mm, thick and fleshy, apex rounded, base attenuate, margin with one tooth or lobe. First pair of leaves with cordate blades, about 37 x 26-28 mm, apex acute, base truncate or cordate, petioles about 10 mm long. Stipules linear, about 1 mm long. Leaf blades clothed in short pale-coloured hairs. Third leaf compound, pinnate. At the tenth leaf stage: all plant parts densely clothed in appressed brown hairs. Leaf pinnate with about 7-9 leaflets, leaflet blades about 6-10 x 3-4.5 cm, lateral leaflet stalks about 3 mm long, clothed in dark brown prostrate hairs. 'Stalk' of the terminal leaflet longer than those of the lateral leaflets. Terminal buds and young shoots densely clothed in brown hairs. Stipules linear, about 2.5-4 mm long, densely clothed in brown hairs.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in NEQ. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 120 m. Grows in disturbed areas in lowland rain forest and monsoon forest. Also found in New Guinea.

Natural History

This species has been used as a fish poison. ( /herbage/A8534.htm)





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