Melicytus dentatus (R.Br. ex DC.) Molloy & Mabb.

Bot. Mag. 17: 234 (2000) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Native

Erect to spreading shrub (1–)2–5(–6) m high, dioecious (in Vic.). Branchlets glabrous, or rarely, hispidulous, often tapering to spinose tips, often with slender lateral spines ca 1 cm long; branching angle mostly 45°–50°. Juvenile leaves usually broadly obovate, conspicuously dentate, often larger than adults; adult leaves oblong to narrowly obovate, (6–)25–40(–67) mm long, (2–)4–6(–11) mm wide, solitary or in fascicles of 2–5(–7), subsessile or sessile, margins usually callus-toothed to serrate with 1–20 teeth per margin, often confined to the distal half; apex acute to obtuse; leaves with stomata on lower surface only, glabrous, or with minute, scattered hairs just above base; lateral veins usually evident. Inflorescences 1- or 2- (rarely to 4-)flowered, axillary to old leaves or their petiole scars. Flowers pedicellate with a pair of small bracteoles between base and mid-point; sepals unequal, imbricate, 0.6–1.8 mm long; corolla campanulate, pale yellow to lemon yellow, daphe-scented (stronger in males). Male flowers with pedicels 2.5–6 mm long; corolla 3.0–4.0 mm long; anthers sessile, oblong, 1.4–1.8 mm long, with a membranous, orange-brown, denticulate appendage, exceeding anthers by ca. 1.3 mm; ovary and stigma vestigial. Female flowers with pedicels (1.5–)1.8–2.5 mm long; corolla 2–2.7 mm long; staminodes 0.7–0.8 mm long, sometimes with an appendage exceeding anther by up to 0.8 mm; ovary ovoid ca 1.5 mm long; style ca 1 mm long. Berry ellipsoid to ovoid, 7–8 mm long, 5–7 mm diam., maturing to bluish-grey or completely white; seeds 1 or 2, 3–4 mm long, plano-convex in section. Flowers Aug.–Oct.

CVU, DunT, EGL, EGU, GipP, Glep, Gold, HNF, HSF, MonT, NIS, OtP, SnM, Strz, VAlp, VRiv, VVP, WaP. Except mallee areas, northern plains, alps and South Gippsland, widespread in the State, commonly growing beside streams, often amongst rocks. Sometimes co-extensive with M. angustifolius subsp. divaricatus on the Volcanic Plain west of Melbourne.

Source: Tonkinson, D. (1996). Hymenanthera. In: Walsh, N.G.; Entwisle, T.J. (eds), Flora of Victoria Vol. 3, Dicotyledons Winteraceae to Myrtaceae. Inkata Press, Melbourne (as Hymenanthera dentata R.Br. ex DC.).
Updated by: Val Stajsic, 2020-07-28
Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Rosanae
order Malpighiales
family Violaceae
genus Melicytus
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <>. Find Melicytus dentatus in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Melicytus dentatus in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Glenelg Plain present native
Victorian Volcanic Plain present native
Victorian Riverina present native
Gippsland Plain present native
Otway Plain present native
Warrnambool Plain present native
Goldfields present native
Central Victorian Uplands present native
Dundas Tablelands present native
Northern Inland Slopes present native
East Gippsland Lowlands present native
East Gippsland Uplands present native
Highlands-Southern Fall present native
Highlands-Northern Fall present native
Strzelecki Ranges present native
Monaro Tablelands present native
Victorian Alps present native
Snowy Mountains present native

State distribution

Distribution map
South Australia
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory