The jellyfish tree was thought to be extinct until the 1970s, when a few trees were found, but the species still teeters on the brink of extinction. These small trees can reach up to 10 metres tall and have a dense, rounded crown of foliage (2). The bark is dark and has many distinctive, deep fissures (2). The leaves are shiny and leathery in appearance with a slightly scalloped edge; they turn bright red with age (2). The small, white flowers are difficult to see amongst the dense foliage; both male and bisexual flowers are carried on the drooping inflorescence (2). The flowers have numerous stamens and it is thought that these may have given rise to the name of Medusagyne after the 'Medusa' of Greek mythology who had a head of snakes (2). The fruits are green and rounded; the outer coat becomes reddish-brown with maturity and then dries, exposing the seeds within, which are then distributed by the wind (2).
- Leaf length: up to 8 cm (2)
- Height: up to 10 m (2)