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Flower [not vouchered]. CC-BY: S. & A. Pearson.

Leaf [not vouchered]. CC-BY: S. & A. Pearson.

Habit [not vouchered]. CC-BY: S. & A. Pearson.

Backhousia citriodora



Scientific Name

Backhousia citriodora F.Muell.

Mueller, F.J.H. von (1859), Fragmenta Phytographiae Australiae 1(4): 78. Type: "In vicinia sinus Moreton Bay silvas incolens. Hill & Mueller."

Common name

Lemon Myrtle


Shrub or tree up to 25 metres; bark rough, becoming dark and fissured.


Oil dots numerous; leaves with strong lemon fragrance when crushed. Leaves simple, opposite, elliptic to narrow-elliptic, 4-15 cm long, 2.5-4 cm wide, pinnately veined with 20-30 main laterals each side of midvein; apex acuminate to acute; base wedge-shaped (cuneate); upper surface dark-green and smooth; lower surface paler; midvein yellow, distinct on upper surface, prominent on lower surface; intramarginal veins distinct. Stipules small, linear, several in leaf axil, falling early leaving scar that may be difficult to discern.


Flowers terminal or axillary arranged in umbellate cymes, bisexual, sepals 5, white to cream, unequal, 3 larger, 2 small; petals 5, white, longer than sepals, falling early; stamens numerous, free; filaments much longer than sepals; anthers dorsifixed, versatile, opening by longitudinal slits; ovary half-inferior, 2-locular.


Fruit dry, brown, indehiscent, enclosed by persistent hypanthium with spreading sepals; locules 2, each with pale brown seeds.


Features not available.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to Australia, occurs infrequently in NEQ, and in CEQ and southwards as far as south-eastern Queensland. Altitudinal range from about 20-800 m. Grows in rainforest and vine forests.

Natural History & Notes

Harden et al. (2015).

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)




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