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Homalanthus11424029174 5575b62e2e o

Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: Core eudicots
Cladus: Rosids
Cladus: Eurosids I
Ordo: Malpighiales

Familia: Euphorbiaceae
Subfamilia: Euphorbioideae
Tribus: Hippomaneae
Subtribus: Carumbiinae
Genus: Homalanthus
Species: Homalanthus populifolius

Homalanthus populifolius Graham 1827

Carumbium populifolium (Graham) Benth. & F.Muell. in G.Bentham, Fl. Austral. 6: 150 (1873), nom. illeg.
Carumbium pallidum Müll.Arg., Linnaea 32: 85 (1863).
Carumbium sieberi Müll.Arg., Linnaea 32: 85 (1863).
Carumbium platyneuron Müll.Arg. in Candolle, Prodr. 15(2): 1145 (1866).
Homalanthus goodenoviensis Airy Shaw, Kew Bull. 21: 417 (1968).

Native distribution areas:
Primary references

Graham, R. 1827. Edinburgh New Philosophical Journal. Edinburgh 3:175.


Govaerts, R. et al. 2020. Homalanthus populifolius in World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published online. Accessed: 2020 Jul 14. Reference page.
International Plant Names Index. 2020. Homalanthus populifolius. Published online. Accessed: Jul 14 2020.
Govaerts, R. et al. 2020. Homalanthus populifolius in Kew Science Plants of the World online. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published online. Accessed: 2020 Jul 14. Reference page. 2020. Homalanthus populifolius. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published online. Accessed: 14 Jul 2020.
USDA, ARS, Germplasm Resources Information Network. Homalanthus populifolius in the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN), U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service. Accessed: 07-Oct-06.
Homalanthus populifolius in: Australian Plant Census (APC) 2018. IBIS database, Centre for Australian National Biodiversity Research, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria. Accessed: 2018 February 24.

Vernacular names

Homalanthus populifolius, the bleeding heart, native poplar or Queensland poplar, is an Australian rainforest plant in the family Euphorbiaceae. It often appears in areas of rainforest disturbance. Bleeding heart is highly regarded by rainforest regenerators because of its fast growth and use as a pioneer species in rainforest regeneration.

Bleeding heart grows from the coastal border of New South Wales and Victoria (36° S), north to Coen, Queensland (13° S) in the tropics. It is also native to Lord Howe Island, Norfolk Island, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands, and has been widely planted elsewhere.[1]

It is the host plant for Australia's largest moth, the Hercules moth (Coscinocera hercules).


It is a small tree or shrub, up to 8 meters tall and 15 cm in diameter.

The trunk is cylindrical with greyish-brown bark, fairly smooth but with some bumps and irregularities. Branchlets appear thick, reddish or green. The leaves are triangular, not toothed and alternate, 5 to 15 cm long, and like those of a poplar (giving rise to the species epithet populifolius). The leaves turn red when senescent, hence the common name of bleeding heart.

Flowers are yellow green to red, 2 to 10 cm long. Appearing on racemes mostly in the months of September to December. The fruit matures from December to March, being a two-lobed capsule with an oily yellow aril. The seeds germinate quickly when the warmth of direct sunlight is available. However, as with many pioneer species, the seeds of the bleeding heart have a long dormancy period.

The fruit is eaten by a variety of birds, including brown cuckoo dove, silvereye and Lewin's honeyeater.

The small size and decorative red leaves make this an attractive garden plant. However, its characteristics as a pioneer species also make it a good invader in disturbed areas. It is regarded as an invasive species in southern Africa,[2] Hawaii[3] and New Zealand.


Floyd, A.G., Rainforest Trees of Mainland South-eastern Australia, Inkata Press 1989, ISBN 0-909605-57-2

Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI).; IUCN SSC Global Tree Specialist Group (2019). "Homalanthus populifolius". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2019: e.T144310289A149052426. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2019-2.RLTS.T144310289A149052426.en. Retrieved 20 November 2021.
FAO report: Status of Invasive Tree Species in Southern Africa
Homalanthus populifolius (Euphorbiaceae): HEAR Species Info

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