Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Desmos goezeanus (F.Muell.) Jessup

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Leaves and Flowers. © CSIRO
Leaves and Flowers. © CSIRO
Fruit and seed. © W. T. Cooper
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, durian germination. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Vine stem transverse section. © CSIRO

Jessup, L.W. (1984) Austrobaileya 2(3): 227.


Grows into a tree-top vine, stem diameters to 5 cm recorded. Vascular rays are fairly obvious in the wood but are more obvious in the bark. Blaze marked by pale granular stripes and brown fibrous stripes.


Leaf blades glaucous on the underside, about 6.5-15 x 2-5 cm, petioles about 0.3-0.6 cm long, base encircled by a ring of hairs. Lateral veins not very obvious, about 20-25 on each side of the midrib. Oak grain in the twigs. Oil dots small, visible with a lens from the upper surface. Crushed leaves emit a faint sweet odour. Tendrils are modified branches.


Flowers large, about 3-3.5 cm diam., emitting an odour resembling amyl acetate? (bananas?), pedicels about 4-5 cm long with a sepal-like bract (8-15 x 4-5 mm) halfway along the pedicel. Sepals about 10-17 x 8 mm. Petals three + three in two whorls. Petals of the outer whorl about 4-5.5 x 2.3-3 cm, petals of the inner whorl about 3.2-3.6 x 1.5-2 cm. Stamens numerous, about 100 per flower, anthers sessile, each anther about 1-2 mm long. Pollen white or colourless. Carpels hairy, 30-40 per flower, each carpel about 2-3 mm long. Stigma sessile, cerebriform. Ovules about six per carpel.


Each fruiting carpel on a stalk about 8-10 mm long. Carpels about 7.5-8 cm long divided into 3-8 segments linked end to end to form a chain, each segment about 9-11 mm long containing a single seed. Seeds about 9-10 x 5-6 mm. Endosperm hard. Embryo embedded in the endosperm. Embryo about 1.5 mm long consisting mainly of cotyledons, the radicle being minute.


First leaves broadly lanceolate or elliptic, apex acute, base obtuse. Oil dots dark-coloured, visible with a lens, midrib depressed on the upper surface. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade oblong to elliptic, apex acute, base obtuse, underside white. Very fine hairs visible along the midrib on the underside of the leaf blade. Oil dots dark-coloured, numerous, visible with a lens. Seed germination time 109 to 110 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to NEQ. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 1000 m. Grows in well developed lowland, upland and mountain rain forest on a variety of rock types.

Natural History & Notes

Food plant for the larval stages of the Fourbar Swordtail Butterfly. Sankowsky & Neilsen (2000).

Food plant for the larval stages of the Pale Green Triangle Butterfly. Common & Waterhouse (1981).

Uva goezeana (F.Muell.) Kuntze, Revisio Generum Plantarum 1: 8(1891). Uvaria goezeana F.Muell., Fragmenta Phytographiae Australiae 7: 125(1869), Type: In montibus sinui Rockinghams Bay vicinis; J. Dallachy. Unona queenslandica Domin, Bibliotheca Botanica 89(4): 670(1928), Type: Nordost-Queensland: in den Regenwaldern bei Harveys Creek nicht selten, auch in der Nahe des Lake Eacham (DOMIN I, II. 1910).
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