Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Cardiopteris moluccana Blume

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Flowers and buds. © Barry Jago
Flowers. © CSIRO
Leaves and fruits. © CSIRO
Leaves and Flowers. © CSIRO
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Vine stem bark and vine stem transverse section. © CSIRO

Blume, C.L. von (1847) Rumphia 3: 207. Type: (not cited).

Common name

Blood Vine


Vine stem diameters to 12 cm recorded. Bark exudate copious. Dead bark pale, thick and corky.


Stems, petioles and leaves produce a milky exudate. Leaf blade about 6-17 x 5-17 cm, petiole often longer than the leaf blade, about 3.5-17 cm long, shallowly grooved on the upper surface. Usually 3-7 veins, including the midrib, radiate from the base of the leaf blade.


Flowers about 3 mm diam. at anthesis. Sepals about 1-2 mm long, rounded at the apex. Petals fused to form a short corolla tube, corolla about 3 mm long overall. Stamens attached slightly below the apex of the corolla tube. Staminal filaments about 0.5 mm long, anthers bright orange. Ovary +/- globose, about 1 mm diam. Stigmas 2, one terminal on a short style and the other sessile on the ovary.


Fruits 2-winged, about 2.3-2.9 x 1.8 cm, wings about 9-11 mm wide, perianth persistent at the base and style persistent at the apex, style green and fleshy, about 11-13 mm long, resembling two gun barrels. Seeds long and narrow, about 1.6-2.4 cm long. Testa thin, exocarp granular, dry and fibrous. Endosperm spongy, oily. Embryo minute, about 0.4 mm long.


Cotyledons lanceolate, about 22-35 x 7-10 mm. First pair of leaves glabrous, cordate, apex shortly mucronate, base cordate, margin entire except for a few teeth near the base. At the tenth leaf stage: leaves narrowly cordate to sagittate, apex apiculate, base auriculate to sagittate. Petioles twisted, curved near the base. Leaf blades palmately veined, midrib raised on the upper surface. Terminal buds clothed in short translucent hairs but leaves and stems glabrous. Stems twining. Seed germination time 47 to 55 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in NEQ. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 700 m. Grows in well developed lowland and upland rain forest. Also occurs in Malesia.

Natural History & Notes

This species may have medicinal properties.

Cardiopteris lobata var. moluccana (Blume) F.M.Bailey, The Queensland Flora 1: 251(1899).
RFK Code
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