Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Cephalaralia cephalobotrys (F.Muell.) Harms

Slender Vine
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Flowers [not vouchered]. CC-BY J.L. Dowe
Leaves and fruit. © A. Ford & F. Goulter
Leaves and fruit. © CSIRO
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Cotyledon and 1st leaf stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO

Harms, H.A.T. (1896) Botanische Jahrbucher 23 : 23.

Common name

Climbing Panax


A slender vine not exceeding a stem diameter of 2 cm.


Leaflet blades about 3-11 x 1.5-5.5 cm. Lateral leaflet stalks about 0.5-1.5 cm long, middle leaflet stalk about 1.5-4.5 cm long and longer than those on the lateral leaflets. Most plant parts clothed in pale brown, prostrate hairs.


Inflorescence up to 22 cm long. Flowers small, about 2 mm diam. at anthesis. Calyx tube about 2 mm long. Petals caducous, falling soon after the flower opens, each petal about 2 mm long. Anthers about 1.5 mm long, filaments about 1 mm long. Ovules one per locule. Styles greenish, about 1 mm long.


Fruits obovoid, about 6.5-10 x 6-8 mm. Styles (two) persistent, divergent, emerging from an orifice at the apex. Seeds two per fruit, each about 4-7 x 2-3 mm, flat. Cotyledons wider and longer than the radicle.


Cotyledons ovate, about 8-11 x 6-10 mm, petioles about 2-3 mm long. Cotyledons 3-5 veined at the base. Hypocotyl glabrous. First true leaf simple, blade triangular, about 12 x 12 mm, upper and lower surfaces hairy. Margin often irregularly lobed or toothed. Second leaf compound with three leaflets, leaflets hairy on the upper and lower surfaces. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf compound with 3 leaflets, leaflet blades ovate or elliptic, about 2.5-3.5 x 1.5-2 cm, apex acute and aristate. Stalk and blade of the middle leaflet longer than those of the lateral leaflets. Lateral veins about 5-7 on each side of the midrib which is raised on the upper surface. Leaflet blade margins irregularly toothed or crenate. Stems twining, hairy, +/- scabrous, clothed in medifixed hairs. Seed germination time 19 to 49 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in NEQ, CEQ and southwards to south-eastern New South Wales. Altitudinal range in NEQ from 700-1100 m. Grows in well developed upland and mountain rain forests.

Aralia cephalobotrys (F.Muell.) Harms, Die Naturlichen Pflanzenfamilien 3(8) : 56(1894). Panax cephalobotrys F.Muell., Fragmenta Phytographiae Australiae 2: 83(1861), Type: Ad fluvium Richmond prope Bald Hill. Dr. Herm. Beckler.
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