Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Cissus cardiophylla (F.Muell.) Jackes

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Flowers. © 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

Jackes, B.R. (1984) Austrobaileya 2(3): 491.


Vine stem diameters to 12 cm recorded. Stems usually laterally compressed and flattened. Dead bark layered, showing growth rings in transverse section.


Leaf blades about 6-13 x 6-13 cm, petioles about 2.5-7 cm long, shallowly grooved on the upper surface, marginal teeth quite small, about 15-20 on each side. Lateral veins raised on the upper surface of the leaf blade. Stipules about 3-6 mm long, broadly triangular, robust, spreading and persistent. Tendrils simple (unbranched) leaf-opposed. Hairs medifixed or 2-armed, rust-coloured.


Inflorescence leaf-opposed. Flowers about 6 mm diam. at anthesis. Calyx lobes absent or extremely short. Petals about 2-2.5 x 1.5 mm, hooded at the apex. Staminal filaments about 1.5-2 mm long, attached outside the large nectiferous disk. Anthers about 0.9 mm long. Style about 1.5 mm long. Ovules 2 per locule.


Fruits about 6.5-8 x 6-8 mm, apex distinctly pointed. Seeds about 5-6 x 4mm long, pointed at one end. Embryo about 1.5 mm long, located at the pointed end of the seed. Cotyledons reniform or sagittate, much wider than the radicle but about the same length. Cotyledons pinched at the apex.


Cotyledons about 18-26 x 30-43 mm, much wider than long, margins toothed (praemorse) base truncate, petioles grooved on the upper surface and about as long as the blade of the cotyledon. First pair of leaves ovate, cordate to orbicular, margins toothed, 10-14 teeth on each side, apex abruptly acuminate, base truncate. Hypocotyl thick and swollen. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade cordate, apex acuminate to apiculate, base cordate to truncate, margin serrate with about 10-12 teeth on each side. Midrib raised on the upper surface. Both the upper and lower surfaces of the leaf blade clothed in brown medifixed hairs when the leaf is young but soon becoming almost glabrous. Stipules about 4 mm long, rather broad, rounded at the apex (paddle-shaped) enclosing the terminal bud on young shoots. Tendrils bifid at the apex, leaf-opposed. Taproot thickened. Seed germination time 95 to 139 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to Queensland, occurs in NEQ and CEQ. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 800 m. Grows in monsoon forest, vine thickets and drier more seasonal rain forest.

Natural History & Notes

Fruit eaten by several species of birds.

Vitis cardiophylla F.Muell., Fragmenta Phytographiae Australiae 2: 73(1861), Type: Rockhampton, Thozet; holo: MEL 540180. Cissus muelleri Planch., Monographiae Phanerogamarum 5 : 516(1887), Type: Syn: Qld, district de Kennedy (Mueller, sous le nom de Vitis cordata), MEL; Hodjkinson River Gulliver 204, MEL; Rockingham Bay, Dallachy; MEL. Vitis cordata (Roxb.) Voigt, Hortus Suburbanus Calcuttensis : 28(1845).
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