Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Desmos polycarpus Jessup

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Leaves and Flowers. © CSIRO
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Vine stem bark and vine stem transverse section. © CSIRO

Jessup, L.W. (2007) Flora of Australia 2: 447. Type: Queensland, Cultivated at Indooroopilly, (originally from Mossman River),Dec. 1994, L.W. Jessup 920. Holo: BRI.


Grows into a tree-top vine, stem diameters to 5 cm recorded. Bark aromatic or spicy when cut or bruised. Brown or dark fibrous stripes visible in the blaze.


Leaf blades about 8-16 x 3-6 cm, petioles about 0.4-0.8 cm long, +/- flat on the upper surface. Leaf blades much paler on the underside. Lateral veins about 8-12 on each side of the midrib. Oak grain in the twigs or expanded rays in the bark?


Flowers about 4-5 cm diam., +/- odourless, pedicels about 5.5-7.5 cm long with a small bract on the lower half. Sepals about 1.5-1.7 cm long. Petals 3 + 3, in two whorls, outer petals about 5.5 cm long, inner petals about 4.7 cm long. Stamens numerous, anthers hooded, sessile, about 2 mm long. Carpels about 100, hairy, about 3 mm long. Ovules 6 per carpel. Stigma globose, sticky.


Features not available.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to CYP & NEQ. Altitudinal range uncertain, but appears to extend from near sea level to about 100 m. Grows in well developed lowland or gallery rain forest.

Natural History & Notes

Food plant for the larval stages of the Fourbar Swordtail, Green Spotted Triangle and the Pale Green Triangle Butterflies. Sankowsky & Neilsen (2000).

Desmos sp. (Mossman River LWJ 550) [Provisional Phrase name].
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