Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Austrobaileya scandens C.T.White

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Flower. © B. Gray
Leaves and fruits. © CSIRO
Fruit and seed. © CSIRO
Fruit cut open. © CSIRO
Fruit, transverse section and cutaway showing seeds. © W. T. Cooper
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Vine stem transverse section. © CSIRO

White, C.T. (1933) Contributions from the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University 4: 29. Type: Queensland, Boonjie, Atherton Tableland, 10 Oct. 1929, S. F. Kajewski 1269; holo: BRI?.

Common name



Vine stem diameters to 4 cm recorded. Vine stems emits an unpleasant odour for some days after collection.


Leaf blades about 10-16 x 3.5-8 cm, petioles about 1.5-3 cm long. Stomata quite large, readily visible with a lens on the underside of the leaf blade. Oak grain in the twigs.


Flowers emit an unpleasant odour perhaps like decaying fish which attracts flies. Flowers large, about 4-5 cm diam., perianth segments grading from bracts to tepals. Total number of tepals about 19-24. Outermost tepals (sepals) rounded, about 3-6 mm long. Inner tepals (petals) arranged in irregular whorls, each tepal about 8-27 mm long, spotted (purplish spots). Stamens about 7-11, each stamen thick and fleshy, about 18 x 7 mm, spotted near the base. Anthers about 7-8 mm long, filaments petaloid. Staminodes incurved, about 9-16, petaloid, about 15 x 3 mm, spotted with purple. Carpels about 10-13, each about 8 mm long. Ovules about 6 per carpel, borne on two placentas, one on each side of the carpel.


Fruits +/- orange, usually shed intact, rarely dehiscing while still attached to the vine. About to 4-8 fruiting carpels produced in each 'umbel'. Fruiting carpels stalked, each carpel about 4-5.5 x 3-3.5 cm. Seeds 2-6 per carpel, each seed about 17-23 mm diam. Embryo small, globular, about 1 mm diam. Cotyledons shorter than the radicle.


Cotyledons cordate-ovate to almost orbicular, about 3-6 x 3-5.5 cm, base obtuse to truncate, +/- three to five-veined, midrib forked before the apex of the cotyledon, venation prominent. Two pairs of cataphylls produced before the first pair of true leaves, one pair just above the cotyledons. First pair of true leaves elliptic, apex acuminate, base cuneate to obtuse, lateral veins forming loops inside the blade margin. All parts glabrous. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade elliptic to lanceolate, about 11 x 4 cm, glabrous, petiole about 1.5 cm long; lateral veins forming loops well inside the blade margin. Petiole channelled on the upper surface. Seed germination time 211 to 483 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to NEQ. Altitudinal range from 350-1100 m. Grows in well developed upland and mountain rain forest.

Natural History & Notes

Seeds eaten by native rats, flesh and seeds eaten by Musky Rat-kangaroos. Cooper & Cooper (1994).

Austrobaileya maculata C.T.White, Journal of the Arnold Arboretum 29: 255(1948), Type: QUEENSLAND: Cook District: Mt. Spurgeon, alt. ca. 4000 ft., rainforest, C.T. White 10734 (fls.) Sept. 1936 .. TYPE in Herb. Brisbane.
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