Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Clematis pickeringii A.Gray

Click/tap on images to enlarge
Female flowers. © CSIRO
Male flowers. © CSIRO
Leaves and female flowers. © CSIRO
Leaves and male flowers. © CSIRO
Leaves and fruits. © CSIRO
Leaves and fruit. © CSIRO
Vine stem transverse section. © CSIRO
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Vine stem bark. © CSIRO

Gray, A. (1854) United States Exploring Expedition (Wilkes Expedition) Botany. Phanerogamia 1: 1. Type: Ovolau, Feejee Islands, Dr Pickering & Mr Brackenridge. Holo: GH.

Common name

Clematis, Tropical; Tropical Clematis


Vine stem diameters to 8 cm recorded. Dead bark dark brown. Wood may produce a clear jelly-like exudate.


Leaflet blades 3-5-veined, about 5-12.5 x 2.5-7 cm, leaflet stalks about 1-4 cm long. Compound leaf petioles and leaflet stalks both modified to form a type of tendril when suitably stimulated. Compound leaf petioles about 9-15 cm long. Terminal buds densely clothed in pale brown to golden hairs.


Flowers cream, about 12 mm diam., perfumed. Tepals about 5-10 x 2-3 mm, hairy on the outer surface. Male flowers: Stamens about 40. Female flowers: Staminodes ten. Carpels 30-40, each carpel green and densely clothed in white silky hairs which extend to the apex of the style. Ovary + style and stigma about 7-8 mm long. Ovules one per carpel.


About 10-20 fruiting carpels per cluster. Each fruiting carpel ending in a long hairy tail about 4 cm long. Seeds about 2.5-3 x 1-1.5 mm. Endosperm quite hard. Embryo tiny, about 0.15 - 0.2 mm long, cotyledons just discernible.


Cotyledons ovate, about 7-10 x 5-6 mm, apex obtuse perhaps mucronate, base attenuate. Venation not obvious. First pair of leaves produced just above the cotyledons almost forming a whorl with the cotyledons. First pair of leaves ovate to cordate, 3-veined, margins toothed. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade cordate, apex acuminate, base auriculate, margin toothed with 5-7 teeth on each side but mainly towards the base. Lateral veins three or four on each side of the midrib. Petiole about as long as the leaf blade and twisted to form a tendril. Seed germination time 38 to 55 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in WA, NT, CYP, NEQ, CEQ and southwards as far as central eastern New South Wales. Altitudinal range in northern Australia from near sea level to 1100 m. Grows in vine thicket, monsoon forest, lowland and upland rain forest. Also occurs in Malesia and the Pacific islands.

Natural History & Notes

Sometimes cultivated, this is a vigorous and showy vine that needs to be trained over a trellis or fence.

Clematis aristata subsp. pickeringii (A.Gray) Kuntze, Verhandlungen des Botanischen Vereins f~yr die Provinz Brandenburg 26: 156(1885). Clematis Rhodocarpoides W.T. Wang, Acta Phyto. Sin. 42: 65(2004), Type: Queensland, Roberts Plateau, Lamington National Park, 20 Mar. 1943, C.T. White 12048. Holo: K. Iso: BRI. Clematis queenslandica W.T. Wang, Acta Phyto. Sin. 42: 67(2004), Type: Australia, Brunett (?), F. Mueller. Holo: K. Iso: MEL. Clematis aristata var. glycinoides F. Muell. ex Kuntze, Verh. K. K. Zool. -Bot. Ges. Wien 37: 50(1887), Type: Timor, DR Naumann. Holo: B?. Clematis glycinoides var. submutica Benth., Flora Australiensis 1: 7(1863), Type: Clarence river and Brisbane river, Herb. F. Mueller. Clematis glycinoides DC., Queensland Flora 1: 5(1899).
RFK Code
Copyright © CSIRO 2020, all rights reserved.