Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Freycinetia marginata Blume

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Habit, leaves and floral bracts. © CSIRO
Fruit. © CSIRO
Floral bracts and 3 inflorescences. © CSIRO
Leaf arrangement, floral bracts and 3 inflorescences. © CSIRO
Three inflorescences, floral bracts removed. © CSIRO
Leaves and floral bracts. © CSIRO
Fruit. © CSIRO
Leaves and fruit. © CSIRO
Vine stem bark and vine stem transverse section. © CSIRO
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO

Blume, C.L. von (1835) Rumphia 1 : 158. Type: New Guinea, Zippelius 219-a; holo: L. Fide Stone (1982).

Common name

Pandan, Climbing; Climbing Pandan


Vine stem diameters to 3 cm recorded. Stem diameter increases as one proceeds from the base of the plant to the apex. Stem marked by definite, very obvious leaf scars. Numerous adventitious roots present on most parts of the vine stem and hold it quite firmly to the substrate.


Leaf blades about 100-150 x 5-8 cm, base extended to form a translucent ligule which catches debris and water. (Leaf blade not narrowed to form a petiole.) Each ligule about 12-20 x 2.5 cm. Leaf blade margins serrate and spiny from the base to the apex. Midrib armed with spines on the underside of the leaf blade at least on the apical section of the leaf blade. Venation fine and longitudinal. 'Oil dots' irregularly shaped although often orbicular. Although the leaves are spirally arranged on the stems the leaves end up being in 3 ranks.


Male flowers: Inflorescence about 10-15 x 2-2.5 cm, produced in groups of three, subtended by large orange or orange and green bracts. Anthers about 1 x 0.6 mm, numerous, dark red and glandular on the back, filaments white, about 3 mm long. Pollen pale brownish. Female flowers: Inflorescence about 10-13 x 2-3 cm produced in groups of two to four, on peduncles about 4-5 cm long, subtended by orange or orange and green bracts up to 50-70 cm long. Individual flowers (essentially ovaries) tightly packed, about 2-3 x 0.6 mm. Very small appendages (staminodes) usually present at the base of each ovary. Stigmatic surface often divided into two sections.


Infructescence about 18-20 x 6 cm, each on a stalk about 6-7 cm long. Fruits subtended by leaves or bracts which are red at the base. Individual fruits about 17-18 x 1.5-2 mm. Seeds about 1.3 x 0.4-0.5 mm with a paler section or wing along one side. Embryo comet-shaped, about 0.4 mm long.


Features not available.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in CYP and NEQ. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 200 m. Grows in lowland rain forest frequently along creeks and gullies. Also occurs in New Guinea.

Natural History & Notes

Probably not in cultivation but would make a spectacular addition to a tropical garden if trained to grow up a tree.

Freycinetia carolina F.Muell., The Australasian Journal of Pharmacy 2 : 126(1887), Type: it occurs in valleys along the Daintree-River, where Mr. Theodor Pentzke noticed it. Freycinetia insignis Blume, Rumphia 1 : 158(1835), Type: In sylvis intactis altioribus Javae, veluti in cocumine montium Pulassarie, Salak, Ged~P, Burangrang, Tankuwang-Prahu, aliorum. Freycinetia australiensis Warb., Das Pflanzenreich Heft 3 : 32(1900), Type: Queensland, Daintree River, Pentzke; holo: B. Fide Stone (1982).
RFK Code
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