Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Anredera cordifolia (Ten.) Steenis

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Flowers. © CSIRO
Leaves and Flowers. © CSIRO
Stem tubers. © CSIRO
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Vine stem bark and vine stem transverse section. © CSIRO

Steenis, C.G.G.J. van (1958) Flora Malesiana Series I 5: 303.

Common name

Lamb's Tail; Madeira Vine; Vine, Madeira; Jalap


Vine stem diameters to 4 cm recorded. Stems very flexible, difficult to break. Numerous grotesquely shaped tubers usually present on the branches. Fibrous stripes visible in the blaze.


Leaf blades rather thick, soft and fleshy, snapping when bent on themselves, about 2.5-9 x 10 cm, petioles about 0.3-3.5 cm long. Lateral veins four to six on each side of the midrib.


Inflorescence a panicle usually consisting of three elongated racemes. Flowers pleasantly perfumed, about 6 mm diam. At first sight the flowers appear to consist of three whorls of perianth segments. The outer whorl of two small green segments (actually bracteoles); a middle whorl of two petal-like segments (also bracteoles) and an inner whorl of 5 petal-like segments (tepals). Lowest pair of bracteoles about 0.8 mm long, green, connate, margins fringed. Upper bracteoles about 2 mm long, white and petaloid. True perianth tube about 0.8 mm long, lobes about 2.5 mm long. Stamens about 3 mm long, attached near the apex of the perianth tube, filament bases broad. Anther locules free, i.e. no connective. Ovary + style + stigma about 3 mm long. Ovule one, basal. Styles branched, three-armed, each arm with an elongated glandular stigma.


Features not available. Fruits do not appear to be produced in Australia.


Features not available.

Distribution and Ecology

An introduced species originally from South America, now naturalised in many parts of the world. Occurs in NEQ, CEQ and southwards as far as Tasmania. Altitudinal range in NEQ not known from the few specimens collected but could range from near sea level to 750 m.

Natural History & Notes

A troublesome weed which is difficult to exterminate as it produces large subterranean tubers. One control measure involves the excavation of the tubers and boiling them to kill them.

Boussingaultia cordifolia Ten., Annales des Sciences Naturelle ser. 3, 19 : 355(1854), Type: In hortis colitur. Patria incerta.
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