Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Cissus penninervis (F.Muell.) Planch.

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Flowers. CC-BY J.L. Dowe
Flowers and buds. © CSIRO
Flowers and buds. © Barry Jago
Leaves and fruit. © CSIRO
Leaves and Flowers. © CSIRO
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO
Vine stem transverse section. © CSIRO
Vine stem bark and vine stem transverse section. © CSIRO

Planchon, J.E. in Candolle, A.L.P.P. de & Candolle, A.C.P. de (1887) Monographiae Phanerogamarum 5 : 520.


Vine stem diameters to 19 cm recorded. Blaze marked by white granular stripes and dark red fibrous stripes.


Stipules oblong, about 2 x 1.5 mm, caducous. Leaflets 3-5 in each compound leaf, leaflet blades about 4-12 x 2-5 cm, leaflet stalks about 0-1 cm long. Lateral vein angle high, almost 90 degrees. 'Oil dots' somewhat elongated and twisted, visible with a lens. Lateral veins forming definite loops inside the blade margin. Tendrils simple (unbranched) leaf-opposed. Oak grain in the twigs.


Inflorescence a much-branched panicle, leaf-opposed or terminal. Flowers about 3 mm diam. Calyx lobes broad and rounded, about 0.1 mm long. Petals reflexed, about 2.1 mm long. Anthers about 0.2 mm long, staminal filaments about 1.1 mm long. Disk about 0.2 mm high. Stigma terminal, crater-like. Ovules two per locule.


Fruits about 14 x 12 mm. Seeds sometimes greenish, about 7.5-9 x 3-4 mm. Embryo small, about 0.5-2 mm long. Cotyledons and radicle of similar lengths but the cotyledons slightly wider.


Cotyledons ovate, about 25 x 15 mm, apex ending in a very short, thickened point. First pair of leaves trifoliolate, the leaflets sessile or nearly sessile, the leaflets narrowly elliptic to oblanceolate, apices acuminate or acute, the bases attenuate to cuneate and oblique on lateral leaflets. Margins sparsely toothed with 1-3 teeth on each side. Oil dots numerous, streaky in outline. At the tenth leaf stage: seedling glabrous. Leaflets 5 per compound leaf, each leaflet blade narrowly elliptic, apex acuminate, base oblique to attenuate, petiole nil, margin with 2-4 small teeth in the apical half. Midrib raised on the upper surface. Oil dots elongated, clearly visible with a lens. Stipules membranous, broad based, about 2.2 mm long. Seed germination time 70 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in CYP, NEQ and CEQ. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 1100 m. Grows in well developed lowland and upland rain forest. Also occurs in New Guinea.

Vitis penninervis F.Muell., Fragmenta Phytographiae Australiae 6: 177(1868), Type: Queensland, Rockingham Bay, J. Dallachy; syn: MEL 539843, K. Cissus arthroclada Lauterb., Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 59: 524(1925), Type: Papua New Guinea?, Ledermann 6958 & 10349; syn: K.
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