Macaranga indistincta Whitmore, Kew Bull. 29 (1974)
Latin for 'unclear'.
Pachystemon depressus var. mollis Müll.Arg.
Sub-canopy tree up to 21 m tall and 20 cm dbh. Twigs hollow, hairy,
ant-inhabited. Stipules recurved, producing food bodies for ants, ca. 9 mm long.
Leaves alternate, simple, 3-lobed, peltate, palmately veined, hairy below.
Flowers ca. 0.5 mm diameter, greenish, placed in bundles within bracts which are
part of large branched inflorescences. Fruits ca. 8 mm diameter, greenish,
3-lobed, dehiscent, horned capsules, seeds with pink-red arils.
Small tree to 15(-21) m tall with an overall rather dull green appearance; twigs 5-9 mm in diam.,
densely pubescent with fine erect silver-grey hairs, hollow, housing ants. Bark pale brown, smooth.
Stipules ovate, 6-9 by 8-10 mm, dark brownish to purple when fresh, recurved, succulent, adaxial
surface finely pubescent, producing food-bodies on abaxial surface, 2-6 pairs present on shoots.
Leaves: petioles terete, 10-22 cm long, densely pubescent; blades ovate to broadly ovate, 15-32
by 14-25 cm, grey-green, shallowly tricusped to trilobed or sometimes with an additional pair of
cusps at the leaf base, dissected to 1/10 to 1/5 of the leaf length or rarely more, lateral lobes
narrowly acute to acuminate and spreading, central lobe broadly acute, >2-3 cm peltate, base broadly
rounded,; leaf margin entire, apices acute, adaxial surface mostly glabrous or with scattered minute
ferrugineus hairs along the veins, abaxial surface densely pubescent, hairs erect silvery, not
glaucous; 1st degree venation palmate with 7-9 prominent veins, 2nd degree venation scalariform
running into the leaf margins and protruding as narrow erect conical nectaries, 3rd and 4th degree
venation densely scalariform; young leaves reddish-brown, densely pubescent. Staminate
inflorescences paniculate, erect, 9-27 by 6-18 cm, scattered to evenly covered in long erect silvery
hairs on the basal axis, distal axes almost glabrous, drying dark blackish brown, up to 4 axis
orders, main axis flattened, first pair of secondary branches opposite with accessory branches;
bracts ovate-elliptic, 4-7 by 3-4 mm, margin entire, apex acute to acuminate, glabrous, caducous;
flower clusters with 15-25 flowers, spirally arranged and evenly spaced along inflorescence
branches; bracteoles broadly ovate, 2-3.5 by 2.5-4 mm, cupulate and enclosing flower clusters,
glabrous, margin pectinate with 6-12 short narrow and well-spaced teeth, the sinuses twice as broad
as the teeth, usually the central tooth more elongated than laterals, scattered with yellow granular
glands, apex rounded, adaxial surface with a dense patch of minute ferrugineus hairs at the base.
Staminate flowers c. 0.75 mm long, sessile; sepals fused, splitting irregularly to c. 1/4, apex
densely covered in minute red-brown hairs; stamens 1; anthers 3-locular. Pistillate inflorescences
paniculate, erect, 6-15(-20) by 5-10 cm, stout, mostly glabrous distally but with scattered erect
sharp-pointed silvery hairs towards base, up to 3 axis orders, secondary branches +/- opposite with
accessory branches; bracts caducous, not seen. Pistillate flowers 3-4 mm long, solitary in bracteole
axils; calyx urceolate, 2-2.5 mm long, apex truncate, glabrous or with very few scattered fine
red-brown hairs and yellow granular glands sometimes slightly glaucous, persistent, splitting
irregularly as ovary expands; ovary 4-carpellate, 2-3 mm long, with fine hairs on the sutures;
styles c. 2 mm long, fused for 4/5 of the length, free and spreading at the apex, persisting to
form a prominent 2-3 mm long crown at the fruit apex; stigma not dissected. Fruits subglobose,
4-6 by 7-10 mm, sessile, one discrete glandular patch on each carpel wall developing into a long
slender horn-like process 4-7 mm long, covered in yellowish green, sticky exudate. Seeds 3.5-4 mm
in diam., subtriangular-ovoid, black, with shallow coarse grooves and a small cruciform scar,
encased in a fleshy bright pink aril. [from Flora Malesiana]
Mainly in disturbed mixed dipterocarp forests up to 1000 m altitude. Often
along rivers and roads, but also on hillsides. On sandy soils.