Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Freycinetia percostata Merr. & L.M.Perry

Slender Vine
Click/tap on images to enlarge
Leaves and fruit. © CSIRO
Fruit. © W. T. Cooper
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO

Merrill, E.D. & Perry, L.M. (1939) Journal of the Arnold Arboretum 20: 159. Type: New Guinea, Middle Fly River, Lake Daviumbu, Sept. 1936, Brass 7860; holo: A.

Common name

Climbing Pandan; Pandan, Climbing


A slender vine not exceeding a stem diameter of 2 cm. Adventitious roots present on most parts of the vine stem.


Leaf blades about 50-60 x 2-2.5 cm long, margins finely toothed throughout their entire length. Venation longitudinal and parallel, not obvious on the upper surface but more pronounced on the lower surface. Auricles present, the margins serrate. Lower surface of the leaf blades glabrous. Midrib armed with teeth on the underside of the leaf blade.


Inflorescence subtended by large orange bracts about 19-35 cm long.


Infructescence about 15-18 x 5 cm on a stalk about 3-4 cm long. Individual fruits about 20 x 8 mm. Seeds about 1-1.2 x 0.3 mm, one side ribbed. Embryo narrowly ovoid, about 0.2-0.3 mm long.


First shoot (coleoptile?) about 1.5 mm long with seed remaining attached. First shoot much narrower than the first leaves. First leaves shortly ensiform, apex acute, midrib but no other venation visible. Seed germination time 105 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in NT, CYP and NEQ. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 450 m. Grows in well developed lowland and upland rain forest. Also occurs in New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.

Natural History & Notes

This species has some potential for planting in tropical gardens. The plants would need to be trained to grow up a sturdy tree. Flowers are small but produced within very showy red bracts.

RFK Code
Copyright © CSIRO 2020, all rights reserved.