Common name: Marara
Vesselowskya venusta Rozefelds, R.W.Barnes & Pellow APNI*
Description: Shrub or small tree to 6–8 m tall. Branches terete, hirsute with hairs from 0.1–1.2 mm long.
Leaves opposite, 3 or 5 foliate, digitate, margins with apiculate serrations, hirsute, more densely below than above, with hairs along midrib, nerves and lamina, pale brown-cream. Terminal leaflet blade, 8–17 cm long by 3–6 cm wide, 15 to 24 nerved, elliptical, petiolule 10–20 mm long. Lateral leaflet blades 4–9 cm long by 1.5–3.0 cm wide, 10 to 16 nerved, slightly obovate-elliptical, petiolules absent to 2 mm long. Stipules, on terminal branches, c. 8–14 mm long 5–8 mm wide, on lateral branches c. two thirds smaller, persistent, interpetiolar, completely enclosing the developing bud, colleters (glands) usually absent at the base of the stipules.
Dioecious, staminate and pistillate inflorescences consisting of usally 3, one terminal and two lateral racemes, of more or less equal length, rarely branched, subtented by a pair of bracts, bracts acuminate, c. 1–4 mm long, peduncle terete, hirsute. 6–20 mm long. Staminate racemes 5–8 cm long. Staminate flower c. 5 mm diameter. Sepals 3, valvate, ovate, underside hairs along midline and base. Petals 3 narrow elliptical. Stamens 6, in 2 whorls of 3, filaments terete, episepalous stamens 3–4 mm long. Anther broardly elliptical in outline, obtuse at apex and base. Disk segmented, 6 lobes alternating with stamens. Ovary vestigial, c. 3–4 mm tall, 1–0.2 mm wide, hirsute with 0.2–0.5 mm long hairs. Pedicel terete, c. 1.0 mm long, motre or less sparsely hirsute. Pistillate racemes 5–9 cm long. Pistillate flower c. 3.5 mm diameter. Sepals valvate, 3 rarely 4, elliptical to ovate, 1.5–2.1 mm long, 0.5–1.2 mm wide, apex acute, underside hairs along midline and base. Petals absent. Stamens represented by vestigial structures between lobes of disk. Disk segmented, 6 lobed. Ovary, 0.6–1.0 mm long, 0.3–0.6 mm wide, hirsute tomentose with hairs up to 1.2 mm long. Ovary 2 celled, each cell with numerous ovules in 2 rows along placenta, styles 2, free, terete, curved outward, c. 1.5 mm long, glabrous, upper half on adaxial side, minutely papillose (stigma). Pedicel terete, c. 1.0 mm long, more or less sparsely hirsute, subtended by a caducous bract.
Fruit a septicidal capsule, the 2 valves free from each other and usually from the placenta and vascular traces, which often persist as a central column. Valves naviculate, about 3.5–4.5 mm long, 0.8–1.2 mm wide, with long curved style, outer layer of fruit, light brown, hirsute tomentose, inner layer (evident when fruit opens) straw coloured, glabrous throughout. Seeds 4–6, 2.5–3.0 mm long, 0.2–0.3 mm wide, glabrous, with a tapering 0.6 mm long wing at each end.
Flowering: mosly November – December
Distribution and occurrence: From the Barrington Tops, north to Mt Boss
At higher altitudes in wet rainforest gullies and seepage areas, and at lower altitudes along watercourses.
NSW subdivisions: NC, NT
Text by P.D. Hind (2002) ex A.C. Rozefelds et al.
Taxon concept: A.C. Rozefelds et al., ASB vol 14(2) 2001
APNI* Provides a link to the Australian Plant Name Index (hosted by the Australian National Botanic Gardens) for comprehensive bibliographic data
***The AVH map option provides a detailed interactive Australia wide distribution map drawn from collections held by all major Australian herbaria participating in the Australian Virtual Herbarium project.