Commersonia is a genus of trees and shrubs in the family Malvaceae. There are 25 species[1] occurring in Australia, Southeast Asia and the western Pacific Islands. A revision of the genus in 2011 added 3 newly described species, as well as 14 species previously included in Rulingia, and transferred a number of species to the newly created genus Androcalva.[1]

The genus is named after Philibert Commerson (1727–73) a French naturalist who sailed with Bougainville on the expedition of 1766-69.

A commonly grown species, C. bartramia is named after John Bartram and known as the brown kurrajong or Christmas kurrajong because it flowers at Christmas. At 25 metres high with a girth of 50 centimetres it is a common garden plant in northern New South Wales and southeastern Queensland and grows on rainforest margins, often as regrowth after logging. Its foliage is very characteristically horizontally layered. Alex Floyd's book, Rainforest Trees of South-eastern Australia, notes its distribution is from the Bellinger River in northern NSW to Cape York and Malaysia. Floyd notes the fibrous bark was used by Australian aborigines to make nets for catching kangaroos and fish.

Species include:[2]


  1. ^ a b c Wilkins, C. F.; Whitlock, B. A. (2011). "A revision of Commersonia including Rulingia (Malvaceae s.l. or Byttneriaceae)". Australian Systematic Botany 24 (5): 226. doi:10.1071/SB10031. ISSN 1030-1887. 
  2. ^ "Commersonia". Australian Plant Name Index (APNI), IBIS database. Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research, Australian Government, Canberra. Retrieved 2010-04-24. 
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