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Hypserpa laurina



Botanical Name

Hypserpa laurina (F.Muell.) Diels

Diels, F.L.E. (1910) Das Pflanzenreich 46: 209. Type: ?.


Hypserpa selwynii F.Muell., Second Systematic Census of Australian Plants: 7(1889), Type: ?. Cocculus selwynii (F.Muell.) F.M.Bailey, A Synopsis of the Queensland Flora, Supplement 3 3: 6(1890), Type: ?. Cocculus selwynii, Fragmenta 4: 153(1864), Type: ?. Limacia selwynii (F.Muell.) F.M.Bailey, The Queensland Flora 1: 30(1899), Type: ?. Selwynia laurina F.Muell., Fragmenta Phytographiae Australiae 4: 153(1864), Type: Queensland, Rockingham Bay, 1864, J. Dallachy s.n. Holo: MEL.Iso: BM, BO, BRI, K.

Common name

Laurel-leaf Hypserpa; Hypserpa, Laurel-leaf


Vine stem diameters to 10 cm recorded. Living bark layer very thin.


Leaf blades about 5.5-20 x 2-7.5 cm, petioles about 1.5-3.5 cm long. Leaf blades 3-veined, at least near the base. Young leaf bearing twigs clothed in white powdery or waxy indumentum. Oak grain in the twigs.


Male flowers: Inflorescence about 15-18 cm long, pedicels about 1 mm long or the individual flowers almost sessile. Flowers about 5 mm diam. Sepals about 1.5-3 x 1-2 mm. Petals about 1 x 0.75 mm. Stamens about 12-15 per flower, about 1 mm long, anthers less than 0.25 mm long. Female flowers: Inflorescence about 3-4 cm long, flowers about 3-4 mm diam. Sepals in two whorls, glabrous, each sepal about 2 x 2 mm. Petals three. Staminodes eight. Carpels three, glabrous, less than 1 mm long. Ovules one per carpel.


Fruits or fruiting carpels glabrous, globose, about 13-15 x 11-14 mm. Endocarps or seeds laterally compressed, about 9-12 x 8-10 mm, surface sculptured. 'Testa' intrusion globular, stalked in longitudinal section. Embryo horseshoe-shaped or U-shaped, cylindrical, about 1 mm diam. Radicle about 8 mm long, about as long as the cotyledons.


Cotyledons linear, about 16-20 x 1 mm, midrib but no other veins visible. First pair of leaves cordate. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade +/- elliptic, narrowly cordate to lanceolate, about 5.5-9 x 2-3.5 cm, apex acute, base cordate. Petiole about 1.8 cm long. Leaf 3-veined at the base. Stem marked by longitudinal ribs? Terminal bud clothed in pale hairs. Midrib slightly raised on the upper surface.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in CYP and NEQ. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 1000 m. Grows in lowland and upland rain forest. Also occurs in New Guinea.

Natural History

Fruit eaten by Cassowaries and Fruit Pigeons. Cooper & Cooper (1994).







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