Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Cansjera leptostachya Benth.

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
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Fruit. © CSIRO
Fruit. © CSIRO
Flowers. © CSIRO
Leaves and Flowers. © CSIRO
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Cotyledon and 1st leaf stage, durian germination. © CSIRO
Vine stem bark and vine stem transverse section. © CSIRO

Bentham, G. (1843) Hooker's London Journal of Botany 2: 231. Type: New Ireland, 1841, Hinds s.n.; lecto: K, iso: NY. Fide P. Hiepko, Willdenowia 9: 49 (1979).


Usually grows as a vine but can flower and fruit as a shrub about 1-3 m tall. Vine stem diameters to 3 cm recorded. Blaze odour may resemble that of green beans (Phaseolus vulgaris).


Leaf blades about 3.5-9 x 1.5-4 cm, petioles about 0.1-0.6 cm long. Dried leaves tuberculate on the upper surface when viewed with a lens. Leaf bearing twigs usually green, clothed in short tortuous brownish hairs.


Each flower subtended by a persistent bract about 0.5-1 mm long. Perianth tube about 1.5-2 mm long. Stamens about as long as the perianth tube. Ovary ovoid, about 1 mm long, style about 0.5 mm long, stigma 4-lobed.


Fruits globular or ovoid, about 11-15 x 9-15 mm, Pedicel inserted in a slight depression in the base of the fruit. Perianth lobes persistent at the base of the fruit. Embryo about 5 mm long, cotyledons three or four, each one narrower than the radicle.


First pair of leaves with hairs along the margins and on the midrib on both the upper and lower surfaces. Tap root white, thickened, +/- carrot-shaped (Daucus carota). At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade lanceolate, about 30-40 x 10-15 mm. Midrib clothed in short hairs on the upper surface. Lateral veins forming loops inside the blade margin. Petiole very short, about 1 mm long. Seed germination time 64 to 97 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in WA, NT, CYP and NEQ. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 300 m. Grows in monsoon forest, vine thickets and various types of vegetation usually near beaches. Also occurs in New Guinea and other parts of eastern Malesia.

Natural History & Notes

May be parasitic on the roots of other plants.

Cansjera scandens Roxb., Plants of the Coast of Coromandel : [2](1802), Type: .. a native of the Circar mountains. Cansjera rheedii J.F.Gmel., Systema Naturae ed. 13, 1 : 280(1791), Type: (not cited). [given by P.Hiepko, Willdenowia 9 (1979) 45-48 as Sonnerat s.n. in Herb. Jussieu 3926 (P-Ju), Inde (fl.)].
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