Helicia glabriflora

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Helicia glabriflora
Helicia glabriflora Coffs Harbour Botanic Gardens.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
Order: Proteales
Family: Proteaceae
Genus: Helicia
Species: H. glabriflora
Binomial name
Helicia glabriflora

Helicia glabriflora is a species of rainforest shrubs or small trees occurring in eastern Australia. Common names include smooth or pale helicia, pale, leather or brown oak.[2][3][4] They grow naturally in a variety of different rainforest types from the Illawarra, New South Wales (34° S) to the Townsville area, Queensland (19° S).[2][3][4][5] Of all the global diversity of approximately one hundred Helicia species, this one species naturally grows the furthest south, in the Minnamurra Rainforest and the Robertson area, Illawarra, New South Wales, there observed more on the relatively fertile basalt and alluvial soils.[4][6]

They grow up to 15 m (50 ft) tall with a stem diameter up to 30 cm (12 in). The grey or brown trunk is fairly smooth, with some bumps and horizontal lines. They have leathery textured leaves, 5 to 15 cm (2 to 6 in) long by 1.5 to 4 cm (0.6 to 1.6 in) wide. The leaf stems measure between 1 and 3 mm long, swollen at the base; often reduced to a pulvinus.[2][3][4][5]

The yellow or white flowers open from April to September, arranged in bottle–brush–shaped compound inflorescences. The fruit is a purple blue drupe, around 16 mm (0.63 in) long, maturing from April to November, with a single green seed. The flowers and fruit have the characteristic appearance of the plant family Proteaceae. The seeds are slow to germinate, usually complete after three months with a 90% success rate.[2][3][4][5]


  1. ^ "Helicia glabriflora F.Muell.". Australian Plant Name Index (APNI), IBIS database. Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research, Australian Government. Retrieved 2 Nov 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d Cooper, Wendy; Cooper, William T. (June 2004). "Helicia glabriflora F.Muell.". Fruits of the Australian Tropical Rainforest. Clifton Hill, Victoria, Australia: Nokomis Editions. p. 412. ISBN 9780958174213. Retrieved 4 Dec 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d Foreman, Don B. (1995). "Helicia glabriflora F.Muell.". In McCarthy, Patrick. Flora of Australia: Volume 16: Eleagnaceae, Proteaceae 1 (online version). Flora of Australia series. CSIRO Publishing / Australian Biological Resources Study. pp. 395, fig. 173, map 444. ISBN 978-0-643-05692-3. Retrieved 6 Dec 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c d e Harden, Gwen J. (2001). "Helicia glabriflora – New South Wales Flora Online". PlantNET – The Plant Information Network System. 2.0. Sydney, Australia: The Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust. Retrieved 2 Nov 2013. 
  5. ^ a b c Floyd, A.G. (2008) Rainforest Trees of Mainland South-eastern Australia, Inkata Press, ISBN 978-0-9589436-7-3, page 308
  6. ^ Bofeldt, Anders (2011). "Table 1: Helicia glabriflora" (PDF). Plants at Risk in the Illawarra: Introduction to Table 1 (PDF) (Technical report). Online via LandcareIllawarra.org.au. NSW. Retrieved 2 Nov 2013. Lay summaryTribute to Anders, Landcare Illawarra (2011).