Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Adenia heterophylla (Blume) Koord. subsp. heterophylla

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Flower. © Barry Jago
Leaves and Flowers. © CSIRO
Leaves, fruit and dehisced fruit. © CSIRO
Leaves and fruit. © CSIRO
Fruit, side view and transverse section. © W. T. Cooper
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Cotyledon and 1st leaf stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Vine stem bark and vine stem transverse section. © CSIRO

Koorders, S.H. (1961) Belmontia 94 : 216.

Common name

Vine, Lacewing; Lacewing Vine


Vine stem diameters to 3 cm recorded. Dead bark pale and corky. Vascular rays expanded in the bark.


Leaf blades ovate-cordate, about 8-15 x 5.2-9 cm, petioles often twisted near the base, about 2.5-4 cm long. Two large glands present at the base of the leaf blade. Stipules caducous, short and broad, less than 0.5 mm long. Tendrils formed from modified inflorescences, branched, produced in the leaf axils.


Inflorescence with tendrils. Flowers about 5 mm diam. not opening widely. Calyx tube (hypanthium) about 15 mm long, lobes about 1-2 mm long. Petals about 3-5 x 1 mm. Male flowers: Stamens each with a white gland at the base of the filament. Anthers about 4 mm long. Pollen orange. Female flowers: Ovary surrounded by 5 white glands and 5 staminodes, each staminode placed between a gland and the ovary. Ovary about 10 mm long on a stalk about 3 mm long. Ovary green, stigmas yellow.


Fruits obpyriform, about 9 x 3-3.5 cm on a stalk (gynophore) about 2-2.5 cm long. Seeds numerous, each seed greyish-brown, about 8-9 x 7 mm. Testa surface wrinkled. Funicles about 15 mm long. Aril soft, almost watery, completely enveloping the seed. Endosperm soft and milky. Cotyledons about 6-7 x 5-6 mm, 3-veined. Radicle about 1.5 mm long, much shorter and narrower than the cotyledons which are very broad and flat.


Cotyledons elliptic to obovate, about 26-33 x 20-27 mm, midrib raised on the upper surface, branched, forking below the apex of the cotyledon and not extending to the apex. Margin entire except for a shallow lobe on one side. First pair of leaves narrowly cordate, base appearing peltate because of the overlapping basal lobes. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade cordate-ovate to lanceolate, apex acuminate, base cordate and peltate. Margin entire, often sinuate with several rounded glands visible. Midrib raised on the upper surface, lateral veins forming loops inside the blade margin. Stipules broad-based, about 1 mm long. Two or more raised glands on the margin of the leaf blade one on each side of its junction with the petiole. Seed germination time 29 to 68 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in CYP and NEQ. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 300 m. Grows in beach forest, gallery forest and lowland rain forest following disturbance. Also occurs in New Guinea and other parts of Malesia.

Natural History & Notes

Food plant for the larval stages of the Glasswing, Red Lacewing and Cruiser Butterflies. Common & Waterhouse (1981).

This species may have medicinal properties. ( /herbage/A440.htm)

Adenia heterophylla (Blume) Koord., Exkursionsflora von Java 2 : 637(1912). Adenia heterophylla (Blume) Koord. var. heterophylla, Belmontia 94 : 216(1961). Modecca heterophylla Blume, Bijdr. Fl. Ned. Ind. : 940(1826), Type: West Java, Salak, Blume s.n.; holo: L; iso: BO, L, P. Fide Satterthwait (1982).
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