Trochocarpa montana—Mountain Tree Heath—ERICACEAE Subfamily STYPHELIOIDEAE

Link to Images on Flickr.

Habitat—Cool–temperate Rainforest

Distribution— The known populations are all restricted to altitudes above 1000 m in seven general locations; the Styx River area, New England and Cathedral Rock National Parks and Mt Hyland Nature Reserve around the Dorrigo– Ebor lookout area and Werrikimbe National Park (Walcha), Nbulan Nature Reserve (Nowendoc) and the Barrington Tops area. New South Wales only.

Description— Much—branched shrub to 2 to 10 m tall; branchlets fawn to grey, shortly pubescent to scabrous or very rarely glabrescent with age.

Local occurrences

Barrington/Gloucester Tops and Dorrigo National Park

Leaves.— Simple with 5 to 7 main veins, in pseudo–whorls or alternate, petioles short. Leaves spread along stems; narrowly ovate, narrow—elliptic to broadly ovate, slightly asymmetric; 1.05 to 5 cm long, 0.4 to 2.6 cm wide; veins 7, at least 5 usually easily visible though sometimes obscure especially adaxially; margins distinctly thickened, slightly recurved; base broadly tapering; acute with tip usually obtuse due to tip dying, sometimes abruptly so, or rarely acute, always dry, brown and brittle; usually glabrous except for scabrous hairs restricted to the edges or more rarely minutely scabrous to sparsely pustulate adaxially; margins minutely fimbriate to minutely ciliate, usually restricted or more prominent in the distal third but sometimes along the whole margin; glossy deep green above, paler abaxially, new growth red. Petiole 1.5 to 4.5 mm long; shortly pubescent, rarely hairs restricted to adaxial groove. Caducous early season growth bracts to 4.2 mm long, marginally ciliate, pubescent abaxially on distal half.

Inflorescence.—Terminal and axillary racemes. Pedicels 0.2 to 0.5 mm long. Bracts 1.1 to 1.6 mm long, 1 to 1.1 wide, sometimes keeled, ciliate, pubescent abaxially on distal half. Bracteoles 1 to 1.1 mm long, ovate to elliptic, ciliate on margin, sometimes keeled and adaxially pubescent on the distal half. Calyx 1.2 to 2 mm long, 0.6 to 1.1 mm wide; ovate to elliptic; margins ciliate, pubescent in distal half. Petals 2.8 to 3.5 mm long; tube broader above, 1.6 to 2.1 mm long, 1.4 to 2.1 mm wide at the mouth; lobes erect to spreading, 1.2 to 1.6 mm long, 1 to 1.3 mm wide; lobes and top half of the tube adaxially densely hairy, hairs spreading on lobes and reflexed in tube, hairs 0.3 to 1 mm long, margins papillate. Anthers dorsally apically connected to the filaments, 0.7 to 1.1 mm long; filaments 0.6 to 0.8 mm long. Ovary 0.7 to 0.9 mm long; 0.7 to 0.9 mm wide; disc prominently toothed to undulate, 0.4 to 0.6 mm high. Style 0.4 to 0.7 mm long, with a broad base.

Flowering.—Mainly late September to October

Fruit.—4.5 to 6 mm wide, 7 to 11 locular, purple to black, depressed globose; seed 2.5 to 3.5 mm long, 1.5 to 2.5 mm wide.

Ripe.—Late Spring to Summer