Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Capparis sp. Iron Range (B.Hyland 16395)

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Herbarium sheet with fruit. © Australian Tropical Herbarium
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO
Vine stem bark and vine stem transverse section. © CSIRO

Provisional HISPID phrase name.


Grows into a large tree-top vine but can also flower and fruit when much smaller. Vine stem diameters to 6 cm recorded.


Stipules spiny, recurved, about 1-2 mm long but not present at every node. Leaf blades rather stiff and hard, about 6-12.5 x 2.5- 5.5 cm, petiole terete, transversely wrinkled, about 1-1.7 cm long. Lateral veins about 15-20 on each side of the midrib. Apex of the leaf blade ending in a hard point which is capable of penetrating the skin.


Pedicels about 4-5 cm long. Calyx about 10-15 mm long. Outer pair of sepals fused to form a calyptra which splits irregularly. Inner pair of sepals free from one another. Petals irregular in size and shape, usually about 2-2.5 cm long. Staminal filaments about 2.5-3 cm long. Anthers about 3 mm long. Gynophore about 2.5-3 cm long. Ovary globular to ovoid, placentas 4, ovules stalked.


Fruits +/- sausage-shaped, about 1.5 x 3.5 cm, on a stalk (gynophore) about 2 cm long. Seeds numerous, each seed about 10-11 mm long. Radicle curved around the periphery of the seed. Cotyledons somewhat crumpled.


Cotyledons narrowly ovate-elliptic, about 35-43 x 16-20 mm. cotyledons petiolate and stipulate. Cotyledon apex armed with a stiff and thickened point. Up to 2 cataphylls may be produced before the first pair of true leaves. First pair of true leaves +/- elliptic, apex aristate, tip pungent, base obtuse. At the tenth leaf stage: leaves 2-ranked, apex aristate, base shallowly cordate. Stipules spiny, about 7 mm long. Stem and petiole densely clothed in hairs. Seed germination time 34 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Known only from CYP, a few collections made in the Iron Range (Claudie River) area. Altitudinal range not great. Grows in or on the margins of gallery forest or monsoon forest.

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