Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Deeringia amaranthoides (Lam.) Merr.

Herb (herbaceous or woody, under 1 m tall)
Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
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Flowers. © R.L. Barrett
Flowers. © R.L. Barrett
Male and female flowers. © CSIRO
Leaves and flwoers. © CSIRO
Fruits. © CSIRO
Fruit. © B. Gray
Habit and leaves. © R.L. Barrett
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO
Vine stem bark and vine stem transverse section. © CSIRO

Merrill, E.D. (1917) An Interpretation of Rumphius's Herbarium Amboinense : 211.

Common name



Usually grows as a large tree top vine but occasionally flowers and fruits as a shrub. Vine stem diameters up to 5 cm recorded. Concentric rings visible in transverse sections of the stem.


Leaf blades about 2.7-15 x 1-8 cm, petioles about 0.4-3.5 cm long, grooved on the upper surface. Twigs longitudinally ribbed.


Each flower subtended by a bract and two small bracteoles. Pedicels about 0.7-2 mm long. Perianth segments about 1.5-2.5 mm long. Anthers white, filaments white, fused to form a ring or cup at the base of the ovary, pollen white. Each ovule attached to the placenta by a long funicle.


Fruits bright red when ripe, sessile, about 4-7 mm diam., perianth segments reflexed, persistent at the base, style scar present at the apex. Seeds attached by comparatively long funicles to a central point at the base of the fruit.


Cotyledonary petioles comparatively long, almost as long as the blades of the cotyledons, blades about 7-10 x 5-7 mm. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade ovate or lanceolate, apex acuminate, base cuneate to almost rounded, lateral veins form definite loops well inside the blade margin. Leaf blade about 50-60 x 30 mm, petiole about 11-20 mm long. Terminal buds and young shoots clothed in pale hairs. Seed germination time 17 to 298 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in WA, CYP, NEQ, CEQ and southwards as far as south-eastern New South Wales. Altitudinal range in northern Australia from near sea level to about 800 m. Grows in rain forest, particularly the drier types. Also occurs in Asia and Malesia.

Natural History & Notes

This species has been used medicinally in Indonesia. Cribb (1981).

Achyranthes amaranthoides Lam., Enc. Meth. Bot. 1: 548(1785), Type: Syntypes: Sonnerat, Java; Rumphius, Herb. Amb. 5: t. 83. f. 2. 1747 (Moluccas). Deeringia baccata (Retz.) Moq., Prodromus 13(2): 236(1849). Deeringia indica Retz. ex. Bl., Bijdr. Fl. Ned. Ind. : 542(1826), Type: Syntypes: In fruticetis prope Linga Jattie Provinciae Cheribon, ( W. Java); Amboina (Moluccas). Deeringia celosioides R.Br., Prodromus Florae Novae Hollandiae : 413(1810). Celosia baccata Retz, Obs. Bot. 5: 23(1788), Type: In herb. Retz., comm. Konig.
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