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Useful Tropical Plants

Commersonia bartramia

(L.) Merr.

Malvaceae

+ Synonyms

Commersonia echinata J.R.Forst. & G.Forst.

Muntingia bartramia L.

Common Name:

Commersonia bartramia
Flowering tree
Photograph by: Fagg, M.
Image credit to Australian National Botanic Gardens
Commersonia bartramia Commersonia bartramia Commersonia bartramia Commersonia bartramia Commersonia bartramia Commersonia bartramia Commersonia bartramia

General Information

Commersonia bartramia is a shrub or small tree with a fairly open crown, that usually grows 5 - 10 metres tall in Australia, but can reach 25 metres in New Guinea where it can develop a straight bole up to 10 metres long and 45cm in diameter[
339
Title
Agroforestry in the Pacific Islands: Systems for Sustainability
Publication
 
Author
W.C. Clarke and R.R. Thaman (Editors)
Website
http://www.unu.edu/unupress/unupbooks/80824e/80824E00.htm#Contents
Publisher
United Nations University Press, Tokyo
Year
1993
ISBN
92-808-0824-9
Description
The guide includes information on 100 species of plants for Agroforestry. It is also available on the web at the address given above.
,
380
Title
Annals of the Missouri Botanical Gardens Vol. 46
Publication
 
Author
 
Publisher
Missouro Botanical Garden
Year
1959
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent botanical publication, available for download from the Internet. Amongst other things, this issue contains a review of the genus Daphnopsis.
,
694
Title
Australian Rainforest Plants Volumes 1 - 6
Publication
 
Author
Nicholson N. & H.
Publisher
Terania Rainforest Publishing; New South Wales.
Year
2007
ISBN
9-78095894-3628
Description
Beautiful set of booklets with a terse description of over 600 species and their habitat, often including some of their uses and notes on their cultivation, plus at least one, excellent photograph.
,
1891
Title
A revision of Commersonia including Rulingia (Malvaceae s.l. or Byttneriaceae)
Publication
Australian Systematic Botany, 2012, 25, 81
Author
Wilkins C.F. & Whitlock B.A.
Website
http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/SB10031_CO
Publisher
 
Year
2011
ISBN
 
Description
 
].
The fibrous bark is valued by native peoples, who use it for a wide range of purposes[
339
Title
Agroforestry in the Pacific Islands: Systems for Sustainability
Publication
 
Author
W.C. Clarke and R.R. Thaman (Editors)
Website
http://www.unu.edu/unupress/unupbooks/80824e/80824E00.htm#Contents
Publisher
United Nations University Press, Tokyo
Year
1993
ISBN
92-808-0824-9
Description
The guide includes information on 100 species of plants for Agroforestry. It is also available on the web at the address given above.
]. An attractive tree, it is sometimes grown as an ornamental[
694
Title
Australian Rainforest Plants Volumes 1 - 6
Publication
 
Author
Nicholson N. & H.
Publisher
Terania Rainforest Publishing; New South Wales.
Year
2007
ISBN
9-78095894-3628
Description
Beautiful set of booklets with a terse description of over 600 species and their habitat, often including some of their uses and notes on their cultivation, plus at least one, excellent photograph.
].

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

1891
Title
A revision of Commersonia including Rulingia (Malvaceae s.l. or Byttneriaceae)
Publication
Australian Systematic Botany, 2012, 25, 81
Author
Wilkins C.F. & Whitlock B.A.
Website
http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/SB10031_CO
Publisher
 
Year
2011
ISBN
 
Description
 

Range

E. Asia - Malaysia, through Indonesia to Australia and the Pacific Islands.

Habitat

Common understorey or sub-canopy tree of secondary and dry forest and patches of forest or thickets in grassland; occasional in garden and fallow areas, where it is an important pioneer species[
339
Title
Agroforestry in the Pacific Islands: Systems for Sustainability
Publication
 
Author
W.C. Clarke and R.R. Thaman (Editors)
Website
http://www.unu.edu/unupress/unupbooks/80824e/80824E00.htm#Contents
Publisher
United Nations University Press, Tokyo
Year
1993
ISBN
92-808-0824-9
Description
The guide includes information on 100 species of plants for Agroforestry. It is also available on the web at the address given above.
].

Properties

Medicinal Rating *
Other Uses Rating *  *  *
HabitShrub
Height10.00 m
Growth RateFast
Cultivation StatusOrnamental, Wild

Cultivation Details

Commersonia bartramia is a plant of the subtropics to the tropics, where it can be found at elevations up to 800 metres[
694
Title
Australian Rainforest Plants Volumes 1 - 6
Publication
 
Author
Nicholson N. & H.
Publisher
Terania Rainforest Publishing; New South Wales.
Year
2007
ISBN
9-78095894-3628
Description
Beautiful set of booklets with a terse description of over 600 species and their habitat, often including some of their uses and notes on their cultivation, plus at least one, excellent photograph.
]. Trees are rather frost-sensitive[
694
Title
Australian Rainforest Plants Volumes 1 - 6
Publication
 
Author
Nicholson N. & H.
Publisher
Terania Rainforest Publishing; New South Wales.
Year
2007
ISBN
9-78095894-3628
Description
Beautiful set of booklets with a terse description of over 600 species and their habitat, often including some of their uses and notes on their cultivation, plus at least one, excellent photograph.
].
Often found in the wild in both in brown clay-loams or white sand soils[
1891
Title
A revision of Commersonia including Rulingia (Malvaceae s.l. or Byttneriaceae)
Publication
Australian Systematic Botany, 2012, 25, 81
Author
Wilkins C.F. & Whitlock B.A.
Website
http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/SB10031_CO
Publisher
 
Year
2011
ISBN
 
Description
 
].
A fast-growing tree[
694
Title
Australian Rainforest Plants Volumes 1 - 6
Publication
 
Author
Nicholson N. & H.
Publisher
Terania Rainforest Publishing; New South Wales.
Year
2007
ISBN
9-78095894-3628
Description
Beautiful set of booklets with a terse description of over 600 species and their habitat, often including some of their uses and notes on their cultivation, plus at least one, excellent photograph.
].
Plants can flower all year round in some parts of its range[
1891
Title
A revision of Commersonia including Rulingia (Malvaceae s.l. or Byttneriaceae)
Publication
Australian Systematic Botany, 2012, 25, 81
Author
Wilkins C.F. & Whitlock B.A.
Website
http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/SB10031_CO
Publisher
 
Year
2011
ISBN
 
Description
 
].

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal

The roots are used medicinally in Fiji[
339
Title
Agroforestry in the Pacific Islands: Systems for Sustainability
Publication
 
Author
W.C. Clarke and R.R. Thaman (Editors)
Website
http://www.unu.edu/unupress/unupbooks/80824e/80824E00.htm#Contents
Publisher
United Nations University Press, Tokyo
Year
1993
ISBN
92-808-0824-9
Description
The guide includes information on 100 species of plants for Agroforestry. It is also available on the web at the address given above.
].

Agroforestry Uses:

A fast-growing, natural pioneer species in its native range, often appearing along the sides of roads[
694
Title
Australian Rainforest Plants Volumes 1 - 6
Publication
 
Author
Nicholson N. & H.
Publisher
Terania Rainforest Publishing; New South Wales.
Year
2007
ISBN
9-78095894-3628
Description
Beautiful set of booklets with a terse description of over 600 species and their habitat, often including some of their uses and notes on their cultivation, plus at least one, excellent photograph.
]. It regenerates quickly, and is often found in abundance after disturbance such as a forest fire or road building[
1891
Title
A revision of Commersonia including Rulingia (Malvaceae s.l. or Byttneriaceae)
Publication
Australian Systematic Botany, 2012, 25, 81
Author
Wilkins C.F. & Whitlock B.A.
Website
http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/SB10031_CO
Publisher
 
Year
2011
ISBN
 
Description
 
]

Other Uses

The fibrous bark has many applications. The fibre is used as cordage for fishing lines, nets, baskets, belts, girdles, headbands etc[
339
Title
Agroforestry in the Pacific Islands: Systems for Sustainability
Publication
 
Author
W.C. Clarke and R.R. Thaman (Editors)
Website
http://www.unu.edu/unupress/unupbooks/80824e/80824E00.htm#Contents
Publisher
United Nations University Press, Tokyo
Year
1993
ISBN
92-808-0824-9
Description
The guide includes information on 100 species of plants for Agroforestry. It is also available on the web at the address given above.
]. A great deal of crushing is necessary to extract the fibre because the bark contains a very large quantity of mucilaginous matter, which is exceedingly difficult to remove either by hot or cold water, but which, however, can be removed by alkalis. The fibre is very long, and not interlaced; it is very strong when moist, but becomes hard and breaks more readily when dry; this is owing to the glutinous matter, which remains in it and dries hard, A thorough and complete crushing seems absolutely necessary before it can be cleaned[
601
Title
The Useful Native Plants of Australia.
Publication
 
Author
Maiden J.H.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Turner & Co.; London.
Year
1889
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of the uses of many Australian plants and other species naturalised, or at least growing, in Australia. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].
The bark is used to make bark cloth in Melanesia[
339
Title
Agroforestry in the Pacific Islands: Systems for Sustainability
Publication
 
Author
W.C. Clarke and R.R. Thaman (Editors)
Website
http://www.unu.edu/unupress/unupbooks/80824e/80824E00.htm#Contents
Publisher
United Nations University Press, Tokyo
Year
1993
ISBN
92-808-0824-9
Description
The guide includes information on 100 species of plants for Agroforestry. It is also available on the web at the address given above.
]. Strips of the bark are used as a crude rope to carry produce and firewood, and for lashing in construction[
339
Title
Agroforestry in the Pacific Islands: Systems for Sustainability
Publication
 
Author
W.C. Clarke and R.R. Thaman (Editors)
Website
http://www.unu.edu/unupress/unupbooks/80824e/80824E00.htm#Contents
Publisher
United Nations University Press, Tokyo
Year
1993
ISBN
92-808-0824-9
Description
The guide includes information on 100 species of plants for Agroforestry. It is also available on the web at the address given above.
].

The light wood is used to start fire by friction in the Solomon Islands[
339
Title
Agroforestry in the Pacific Islands: Systems for Sustainability
Publication
 
Author
W.C. Clarke and R.R. Thaman (Editors)
Website
http://www.unu.edu/unupress/unupbooks/80824e/80824E00.htm#Contents
Publisher
United Nations University Press, Tokyo
Year
1993
ISBN
92-808-0824-9
Description
The guide includes information on 100 species of plants for Agroforestry. It is also available on the web at the address given above.
].

The white wood is light in weight, soft and close-grained[
601
Title
The Useful Native Plants of Australia.
Publication
 
Author
Maiden J.H.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Turner & Co.; London.
Year
1889
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of the uses of many Australian plants and other species naturalised, or at least growing, in Australia. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
]. It is used in light construction, for fishing floats etc[
339
Title
Agroforestry in the Pacific Islands: Systems for Sustainability
Publication
 
Author
W.C. Clarke and R.R. Thaman (Editors)
Website
http://www.unu.edu/unupress/unupbooks/80824e/80824E00.htm#Contents
Publisher
United Nations University Press, Tokyo
Year
1993
ISBN
92-808-0824-9
Description
The guide includes information on 100 species of plants for Agroforestry. It is also available on the web at the address given above.
]. Small poles and sticks from the tree are used to stake yams[
339
Title
Agroforestry in the Pacific Islands: Systems for Sustainability
Publication
 
Author
W.C. Clarke and R.R. Thaman (Editors)
Website
http://www.unu.edu/unupress/unupbooks/80824e/80824E00.htm#Contents
Publisher
United Nations University Press, Tokyo
Year
1993
ISBN
92-808-0824-9
Description
The guide includes information on 100 species of plants for Agroforestry. It is also available on the web at the address given above.
].
The wood is a fast-burning firewood[
339
Title
Agroforestry in the Pacific Islands: Systems for Sustainability
Publication
 
Author
W.C. Clarke and R.R. Thaman (Editors)
Website
http://www.unu.edu/unupress/unupbooks/80824e/80824E00.htm#Contents
Publisher
United Nations University Press, Tokyo
Year
1993
ISBN
92-808-0824-9
Description
The guide includes information on 100 species of plants for Agroforestry. It is also available on the web at the address given above.
] and makes a useful fuel[
653
Title
Plants of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.asianplant.net/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Excellent site with brief information on the plant, its range, habitat and uses, plus phots of specimens, close-ops of flowers and leaves etc,
].

Propagation

Seed - tiny and long-lived. Best sown as soon as it is ripe, it can be germinated by blending the whole capsules, then covering the mix with almost boiling water (making sure it cools down quickly enough not to cook and kill the seed) and then sowing the resulting fibrous mass[
694
Title
Australian Rainforest Plants Volumes 1 - 6
Publication
 
Author
Nicholson N. & H.
Publisher
Terania Rainforest Publishing; New South Wales.
Year
2007
ISBN
9-78095894-3628
Description
Beautiful set of booklets with a terse description of over 600 species and their habitat, often including some of their uses and notes on their cultivation, plus at least one, excellent photograph.
].
Cuttings strike quickly and easily[
694
Title
Australian Rainforest Plants Volumes 1 - 6
Publication
 
Author
Nicholson N. & H.
Publisher
Terania Rainforest Publishing; New South Wales.
Year
2007
ISBN
9-78095894-3628
Description
Beautiful set of booklets with a terse description of over 600 species and their habitat, often including some of their uses and notes on their cultivation, plus at least one, excellent photograph.
].
Cite as: Tropical Plants Database, Ken Fern. tropical.theferns.info. 2024-07-13. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Commersonia+bartramia>

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