Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Glycine cyrtoloba Tindale

Slender Vine
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Leaves and Flowers. © CSIRO
Fruit [not vouchered]. CC-BY: J.L. Dowe
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO

Tindale, M. (1984) Brunonia 7(1): 207. Type: Agricultural Research Station, Grafton, N.S.W., cultivated in a glasshouse; originally collected at Purgatory Creek, Gwydir Highway, N.S.W.


A slender vine not exceeding a stem diameter of 2 cm.


Leaflet blades variable in size and shape, middle leaflet larger than the lateral leaflets. Middle leaflet blade about 18-40 x 4-10 mm, stalk about 1.5-2 mm long, pulvinus present. Lateral leaflet blades about 12-25 x 4-8 mm, stalks about 0.5-1 mm long, pulvinus absent. Stipels present. Stipules triangular, about 1.5-2 mm long, clothed in white prostrate hairs. Lateral veins about 8-13 on each of the midrib. Both the upper and lower leaflet blade surfaces clothed in prostrate, white hairs. Stems densely clothed in white, backward-pointing hairs.


Racemes up to 5 cm long. Calyx 5-lobed, 2 lobes fused almost to the apex. All calyx lobes clothed in bristle-like hairs. Standard about 7 x 7 mm, mauve except for the white base. Keel white, about 4 mm long. Wings clawed, i.e. stalked, about 6-7 mm long overall. Stamens 10, the filaments of 9 stamens fused to form a tube open on one side with one stamen free. Ovules 6-10 per ovary.


Fruits about 35-40 x 3-4 mm, sparsely clothed in pale prostrate hairs, calyx persistent at the base. Seeds about 8 per fruit, each seed about 4-5 x 2-3 mm.


Cotyledons thick and fleshy, about 6-7 x 4 mm, elliptic to obovate, apex obtusely truncate and asymmetrical, base obtuse and asymmetrical. Midrib but no other veins visible. First leaves: leaflet blades elliptical, apex mucronate, base obtuse, upper and lower surfaces clothed in hairs. Stipels present. Hypocotyl hairy. At the tenth leaf stage: leaflet blades elliptical, apex mucronate, base obtuse (oblique on lateral leaflets). Both the upper and lower leaf blade surfaces clothed in appressed, whitish hairs. Lateral veins about 6 on each side of the midrib. Stipules hairy, triangular, about 1.2 mm long. Stipels also present. Taproot slender but somewhat thickened and exudes an odour like Lucerne sprouts (Medicago sativa) when broken. Stem twining often multistemmed, stems clothed in backward-pointing hairs. Seed germination time 12 to 64 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in NEQ, CEQ and southwards as far as north-eastern New South Wales. Altitudinal range in NEQ from 500-1100 m. Usually grows over low vegetation in open forest communities and vine thickets, but occasionally found in or on the margins of monsoon forest.

Natural History & Notes

This species is probably grazed where it occurs. Hacker (1990).

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