Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Austrosteenisia blackii F.Muell.) Geesink

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Flower. © G. Sankowsky
Flower. © G. Sankowsky
Flowers. © A. Ford & F. Goulter
Fruit. © A. Ford & F. Goulter
Fruit. © A. Ford & F. Goulter
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO
Vine stem transverse section. © CSIRO
Stems. © G. Sankowsky

Geesink, R. (1984) Leiden Botanical Series 8: 78.

Common name

Blood Vine; Vine, Blood


Vine stem diameters to 35 cm recorded. Bark exudate +/- clear but turning pink on exposure. Some wood vessels filled with black growths (tyloses).


Leaflet blades about 4-11 x 1.5-4.5 cm, lateral leaflet stalks about 0.3-0.7 cm long. Usually 7-9 leaflets in each compound leaf. Underside of the leaflet blade clothed in short pale +/- prostrate hairs. Stipular scars difficult to discern, stipules hairy, about 3 mm long. 'Stalk' of the terminal leaflet much longer than those of the lateral leaflets. Pulvinus present on the terminal leaflet stalk but not on the lateral leaflet stalks.


Plants usually flower when partly deciduous. Flowers borne in inflorescences consisting of large numbers of raceme-like structures with pairs of flowers on a common peduncle about 5-6 mm long, pedicels about 3-4 mm long. Flowers about 7-9 mm long. Calyx clothed in brown prostrate hairs, tube about 3 mm long, lobes about 0.6-1 mm long. Corolla deep dark red. Standard about 6-9 mm long, wings about 5 mm long, keel about 8-9 mm long. Stamens 10, the filaments of 9 stamens fused to form a tube open along one side, stamens about 7 mm long, anthers about 1-1.5 mm long, free part of the filaments about 2 mm long. Pollen orange. Ovary about 10 mm long, densely clothed in hairs. Ovules about 14. Style exceeding the corolla at all times following anthesis. Disk about 1 mm high.


Fruits flat and papery, about 4-10 x 1.4-2.3 cm. Calyx remnants often present at the base and style remnants persistent as an aristate tip at the apex. Seeds 1-8 per pod, each seed banana-shaped, about 5-7 x 2.5-4 mm. Testa olive brown. Embryo green. Radicle about 1.5-2 mm long, curved along the margin of the cotyledons. Radicle much shorter and narrower than the cotyledons. Plumule well developed.


Cotyledons caducous, about 8-9 x 3 mm, slightly asymmetrical, venation not visible. First pair of leaves simple (unifoliolate), triangular, about as wide as long, apex mucronate, base +/- truncate, margin ciliate, underside of the leaf blade hairy. Third leaf trifoliolate. Forth leaf pinnate with 5 leaflets. At the tenth leaf stage: leaflet blades elliptic, apex bluntly pointed to acuminate, base cuneate to obtuse; lateral veins forming loops inside the blade margin. Usually 5 leaflets in the compound leaf. Stipules densely hairy, ovate, about 6-9 mm long, +/- peltate and enclosing the terminal bud. Lower surface of the leaflet blades densely clothed in short pale-coloured hairs. Stipels present. Terminal leaflet with a pulvinus and a longer stalk than the lateral leaflets. Stem densely clothed in short brown hairs. Seed germination time 9 to 95 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to Australia, occurs in CYPNEQ, CEQ and southwards as far as north-eastern New South Wales. Altitudinal range in NEQ from 50-800 m. Usually grows in well developed upland rain forest, sometimes in lowland rain forest.

Natural History & Notes

Food plant for the larval stages of the Orange Aeroplane Butterfly. Common & Waterhouse (1981).

Two varieties are recognised:
var. blackii - leaves with stipellae present (at base of leaflet)
var. astipella - leaves with stipellae absent.

Lonchocarpus blackii (F.Muell.) Benth., Flora Australiensis 2: 271(1864). Kunstleria blackii (F.Muell.) Polhill, Kew Bulletin 25(2): 263(1971). Millettia blackii F.Muell., Fragmenta Phytographiae Australiae 2: 123(1861), Type: Moreton Bay, W. Hill; Clarence & Hastings River, H. Beckler; syn: MEL. Derris nesiotes (Bailey) Domin, Repertorium Specierum Novarum Regni Vegetabilis 11(16: 263(1912). Lonchocarpus nesiotes F.M.Bailey, Queensland Agricultural Journal 17(3): 162(1906), Type: Middle Percy Island, Tryson and Young Expd., Dec., 1905; Jan., 1906 Bloomfield River, Rev. W. Poland, Nov., 1902.
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