Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Dendrotrophe varians (Blume) Miq.

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Fruits. © A. Ford & F. Goulter
Flowers and buds. © CSIRO
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Vine stem transverse section. © CSIRO

Miquel, F.A.W. (1856) Florae Indiae Batavae 1(1): 780.


Aerial stem-parasitic shrub. Vine stem diameters to 5 cm recorded. Blaze odour may resemble the odour of fungi.


Leaf blades somewhat fleshy, about 4.5-10 x 32.56 cm, petioles about 0.4-1 cm long. Venation longitudinal and parallel with five veins obvious.


Usually two racemes produced in each leaf axil. Flowers about 2-2.5 mm diam. Calyx tube (hypanthium) about 0.6 mm long. Tepals triangular, thick, about 1.1 mm long. Staminal filaments about 0.2 mm long, attached to the base of the tepals. Anthers wider than long, apices lobed, each anther with a tuft of hair on the back. Disk concave, lobed. Style shortly branched.


Fruits globose, about 12-15 x 11-13 mm, perianth persistent at the apex. Seeds about 7-11 x 6-8 mm, surface ornamented with longitudinal ribs and irregular sharp protrusions. Transverse sections of the seed show about ten intrusions of testa into the endosperm. Embryo small, about 1 mm long. Cotyledons about as wide and as long as the radicle, sometimes slightly shorter.


Cotyledons remain trapped within the testa. Usually 2 cataphylls produced above the cotyledon scars but before the first pair of true leaves. First pair of true leaves elliptic and opposite, +/- sessile. Seed germination time 251 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in NEQ and CEQ. Altitudinal range from 700-1300 m. Grows in upland and mountain rain forest. Also occurs in Malesia.

Natural History & Notes

May be parasitic on the roots of other plants.

Henslowia varians Blume, Mus. Bot. 1: 244(1850), Type: Bornoe, Korthals s. n. Henslowia queenslandiae L.S.Sm., The Queensland Naturalist 14: 62(1951), Type: Queensland, Mt Edith, Lamb Range, ca. 15 miles NE of Atherton, 23 Aug. 1947, L. S. Smith 3394; holo: BRI.
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