Melicytus dentatus—Tree Violet—VIOLACEAE

Melicytus dentatus

Link to Images on Flickr.

Habitat—Sub-tropical, Warm-temperate, Littoral and Dry Rainforest, Vine thickets and Sclerophyll Forest.

Distribution— North from Tasmania, in Rainforest north to Woodenbong and west to Mt Kaputar National Park in New South Wales., also in Sundown National Park near Stanthorpe in Queensland

Description—Erect to spreading shrub to 2–5 m high, up to 6 m across, usually dioecious.

Local occurrences

Booderee National Park and Batemans Bay

Leaves.—Plant with axillary spines, leaves alternate, toothed, mid to dark green, lower surface paler than upper. Juvenile leaves usually broad-obovate, conspicuously dentate, often larger than adult leaves. Adult leaves oblong or narrow-elliptic to narrow-obovate, 25 to 40 mm long, 4 to 6 mm wide, solitary or in groups, margins callus-toothed or serrate.

Melicytus dentatus
Melicytus dentatus

Inflorescence.— 1- or 2- (rarely more) flowered, axillary to old leaves or their petiole scars, on short shoots, 1 or 2 per axil. Bracteoles deltoid. Sepals unequal, imbricate. Corolla broad-cylindric. Petals fleshy; male flowers usually daphne-scented, pale yellow to lemon yellow, anthers sessile, creamy yellow; female flowers mildly sweet-scented, off-white or pale yellow.

Flowering.—Early August to mid–October, at least partly depending on altitude.

Fruit.—A berry, globose, 4 to 5 mm diam., green, grey or purple-black,

Ripe.—December and March.

Melicytus dentatus