Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Distimake quinquefolius (L.) A.R.Simoes & Staples

Slender Vine
Click/tap on images to enlarge
Flower. © Barry Jago
Leaves and Flowers. © CSIRO
Leaves and fruits. © CSIRO
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO
Vine stem bark and vine stem transverse section. © CSIRO

Simoes, A.R. & Staples, G.W. (2017) Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 183: 575.

Common name

Mile-A-Minute; Rosemary, Rock; Rock Rosemary


Usually a slender vine occasionally recorded with a stem diameter of 3 cm.


Compound leaves pedate with five leaflets per leaf. Middle leaflet larger than any of the lateral leaflets. Leaflet blades about 2-6.5 x 0.5-2 cm, leaflet stalks about 1-3 mm long.


Flowers trumpet-shaped. Sepals about 6-9 x 4.5 mm. Corolla about 1.5 x 1.5-2 cm, spreading at the apex. Stamens attached about 4-5 mm from the base of the corolla tube. Staminal filaments clothed in hairs towards the base.


Fruits globular, about 7-10 x 7-10 mm, sepals papery, persistent, +/- enveloping the fruit. Seeds up to 4 per fruit, each seed shaped like a quarter of a sphere, about 4-5 x 3-4 mm. Testa clothed in short hairs. Hilum +/- orbicular, about 0.7 mm diam. Cotyledons folded in a complex fashion. Endosperm intruding between the folds in the cotyledons. Radicle about 2.5-4 mm long.


Cotyledons +/- rectangular, about 16-22 x 15-18 mm, apex slightly bilobed or emarginate, petioles about as long as the cotyledon blade. First leaf rather variable in shape, trilobed to bifoliolate or toothed and lobed. Second leaf trifoliolate to almost digitate or pedate. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf digitate with 5 leaflets. Leaflet blades elliptic, apex apiculate, base cuneate. Middle leaflet larger than the other leaflets. Leaflet margins sinuate with 1-3 shallow indentations on each side. Lower leaflet blade surface much paler than the upper surface. Midrib depressed on the upper surface. Stems twining, clothed in long translucent hairs. Taproot long and thickened. Seed germination time 14 days.

Distribution and Ecology

An introduced species originally from tropical America, now naturalised in CYP, NEQ, CEQ and southwards almost to south-eastern Queensland. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 650 m. Grows in open forest, riparian vegetation, swamp forest and rain forest. Also occurs in Malesia.


Merremia quinquefolia (L.) Hallier f.Botanische Jahrbucher 16: 552 (1893). Ipomoea quinquefolia L., Species Plantarum 2: 162(1753), Type: Habitat in America.

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