Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Geitonoplesium cymosum (R.Br.) A.Cunn. ex R.Br.

Slender Vine
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Flower and buds. © Barry Jago
Leaves and fruit. © CSIRO
Leaves and Flowers. © CSIRO
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, hypogeal germination. © CSIRO

Brown, R. (1832) Botanical Magazine 59: t3131.

Common name

Scrambling Lily; Lily, Scrambling


A slender vine not exceeding a stem diameter of 2 cm. Stems 4-angled.


Twigs zigzagged. Leaf blades about 2.7-9 x 0.7-1.3 cm, petioles about 0.5-2 mm long, grooved on the upper surface. Petioles twisted so the upper leaf blade surface becomes the underside.


Pedicels about 6-7 mm long. Sepals about 6-7 mm long. Petals about 6 mm long, margins entire not fringed. Stamens six, anthers about 3.5 mm long, filaments somewhat twisted (sinuous) about 1.5-2 mm long. Ovary globular, about 1-1.5 mm long. Style somewhat sinuous towards the base, about 4 mm long. Stigma +/- globular, terminal.


Fruits globular, about 5-11 mm diam. Seeds one or two per fruit, each seed about 5 x 3 mm, +/- obovoid. Embryo curved, about 3-5 mm long, thicker at one end, resembling a tusk.


Cataphylls about 11 mm long, usually 2, produced before the first true leaves. First true leaf oblong-lanceolate, apex apiculate, base obtuse. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade +/- lanceolate, apex apiculate, base obtuse and oblique. Leaves distichous, twigs zig-zagged. Petioles twisted so that the lower surface of the leaf blade is uppermost. Venation longitudinal and parallel. Roots yellowish or curry-coloured. Seed germination time 224 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to NEQ, CEQ and widely distributed throughout the area. Altitudinal range from 100-1100 m. Grows in well developed rain forest on a variety of rock types but tends to be more common along creeks and gullies.

Geitonoplesium cymosum (R.Br.) R.Br. f. cymosum, Mitteilungen aus dem Botanischen Museum der Universitat Zurich 189 : 229(1951). Geitonoplesium cymosum (R.Br.) R.Br. subf. cymosum, Mitteilungen aus dem Botanischen Museum der Universitat Zurich 189 : 229(1951). Luzuriaga cymosa R.Br., Prodr. : 282(1810), Type: Port Jackson, N.S.W. R. Brown; tropical Australia, R. Brown.
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