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Helmholtzia acorifolia

Family

Philydraceae

Botanical Name

Helmholtzia acorifolia F.Muell.

Mueller, F.J.H. von (1865) Fragmenta Phytographiae Australiae 5: 203. Type: Queensland, Rockingham Bay, 1866, J. Dallachy s.n.; lecto: MEL; iso: B, K, M. Fide U. Hamann, Willdenowia Beiheft 4: 155 (1966).

Common name

Puckerum; Helmholtzia; Kuranda

Stem

Stem or rhizome +/- horizontal or slightly ascending but the leaves +/- erect and reaching to a height of 1-2 m.

Leaves

Leaves arranged in one plane and held like a hand fan. Leaf blades glabrous, sword-like, up to 100-200 x 4 cm, venation longitudinal and parallel. Leaf blade constricted on one side about 1/4 of the way up from the base to form a 'petiole'. Reticulate veins sinuous, +/- at right angles to the midrib.

Flowers

Inflorescence up to 30 cm long, bracteoles lanceolate up to 12 mm long. Individual flowers sessile, outer tepals lanceolate, about 8-14 mm long, hairy on the outer surface, inner tepals about 3 mm long. Stamens about 4 mm long, anthers bright yellow, locules about 2 mm long +/- clasping the style. Ovary about 2 mm long, densely hairy on the outer surface. Ovules numerous in each locule. Style about 5 mm long.

Fruit

Fruit globose, about 5-10 mm diam., 3-lobed, +/- translucent. Seeds about 2 mm long, dark reddish-brown.

Seedlings

First pair of leaves linear, about 4-10 x 0.5-1 mm, apex acute, base sheathing the stem, glabrous, venation longitudinal and parallel, petiole absent. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade produced in one plane like a hand fan. Leaf blade glabrous, linear, sessile, venation longitudinal and parallel, base clasping the stem and overlapping one another.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to NEQ. Altitudinal range from 400-1500 m, rarely in lowland areas down to 50 m. Grows as an understory plant in undisturbed upland and mountain rain forest. Usually grows along creeks and in swamps and other permanently moist sites.

Natural History

An excellent understory plant sometimes cultivated in shaded moist or wet conditions.

NEQ

X

Grass

X

Herb (herbaceous or woody, under 1 m tall)

X

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

X

RFK Code

3276