Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Clematicissus opaca (F.Muell.) Jackes & Rossetto

Slender Vine
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Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO

Jackes, B. R. & Rossetto,M. (2006) Telopea 11: 390.

Common name

Grape, S,all-leaf; Wappo Wappo; Small-leaved Water Vine; Vine, Pepper; Pepper Vine; Small-leaf Grape; Yaloone; Vine, Small-leaved Water Vine


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


Compound leaves trifoliolate or digitate. Leaflet blades about 1-5.5 x 0.5-2.8 cm, leaflet stalks absent or very short. Marginal teeth 1 or 2 on each side or absent. Compound leaf petiole about 1-2 cm long. Stipules triangular, about 2 mm long. Middle leaflet larger than the lateral leaflets. Tendrils leaf-opposed.


Inflorescence leaf-opposed. Calyx irregular at the apex, but no definite lobes visible. Petals triangular, about 1.5 mm long, apex hooked or hooded. Stamens attached outside the disk. Ovary surrounded by a comparatively large fleshy disk. Disk lobed on the margin and concave on the upper surface. Style rather stout, about 0.6 mm long. Stigma terminal. Ovules two per locule.


Fruits depressed globular, about 11-13 x 13-15 mm. Seeds 2-4 per fruit, each seed about 5-7 x 5 mm, shaped like a quarter of a sphere. Embryo about 1 mm long, radicle about as long as or longer than the cotyledons.


Cotyledons orbicular to ovate, about 30-50 x 28-38 mm, apex obtuse, base +/- cordate. Cotyledons 3-5-veined. Petioles about 5-8 cm long. Usually 1 cataphyll produced before the first true leaf which is simple and lobed. Second leaf simple or compound. Hypocotyl absent or not developed. Stipules about 1 mm long, hairy. Taproot thickened, carrot-like (Daucus carota). At the tenth leaf stage: leaf simple, trifoliolate or digitately compound, leaflets sessile, the middle leaflet being the largest and the basal leaflets significantly smaller. Leaflet margins entire or toothed. Taproot swollen to form a conspicuous tuber or tubers about 4 x 2.5 cm. Tendrils leaf-opposed, simple (unbranched). Stipules triangular, about 1-3 mm long, margins fimbriate. Seed germination time 206 to 222 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in CYP, NEQ, CEQ and southwards as far as coastal central New South Wales. Altitudinal range in CYP and NEQ from near sea level to 600 m. Grows in rocky areas in open forest and in monsoon forest, vine forest and other types of vegetation, e.g. Brigalow Scrub.

Cissus opaca F.Muell., Transactions of the Philosophical Institute of Victoria 3: 23(1859), Type: In the Brigolow scrub of Eastern Australia. hOLO: mel 539836. Cayratia cuneata Domin, Bibliotheca Botanica 89(4): 924(1928), Type: Nord-Queensland: Savannenwalder bei Chillagoe (DOMIN II. 1910). Holo: PR. Vitis opaca (F.Muell.) Benth., Flora Australiensis 1: 450(1863), Type: Qld, syntypes: Mueller, Fraser, Thozet, Fitzalan & R. Brown.
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