Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Gymnosporia inermis Merr. & L.M.Perry

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
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Leaves and Flowers. © CSIRO
Dehiscing fruits and arilous seeds. © CSIRO
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Vine stem bark and vine stem transverse section. © CSIRO

Merrill, E.D. & Perry, L.M. (1939) Journal of the Arnold Arboretum 20: 335. Type: New Guinea.


Usually flowers and fruits as a shrub or scandent shrub 1-3 m tall but occasionally grows into a tree-top vine. Vine stem diameters to 6 cm recorded.


Leaf blades about 30-80 x 15-45 mm, produced in a tight spiral or whorl on short burr-like shoots along the twigs. Petioles about 2-4 mm long, grooved on the upper surface. Teeth occur all along the margin of the leaf blade but the teeth are small and inconspicuous. Twigs often longitudinally ribbed or lined, sometimes with spines in the leaf axils.


Sepals about 1 mm long. Petals oblong-obovate, about 2-3.5 mm long. Stamens inserted outside the flat disk at the base of the ovary. Staminal filaments about 1-1.2 mm long. Ovules 2 per locule.


Capsule obovoid or subglobose, about 10-12 x 9-10 mm. Aril white, half enclosing the seed or only enclosing the base of the seed. Embryo yellow.


Cotyledons elliptic, about 9-10 x 6-7 mm, lateral veins not obvious. First pair of leaves simple, stipulate, margins serrate. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade margin toothed with about 12 teeth on each side, midrib raised on the upper surface. Stipules about 1 mm long. Stem +/- 4-angled. Spines sometimes present in the leaf axils. Seed germination time 49 to 79 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in CYP and NEQ. Altitudinal range quite small, usually found just above sea level. Grows in beach forest just behind the mangroves. Also occurs in Malesia and Asia.

Natural History & Notes

This species has been used medicinally in India and Africa. Cribb (1981).

Celastrus montana Roth ex Roemer & Schultes, Syst. Veg. 5: 427(1819), Type: eastern India, B. Heyne s.n.; holo: B. Maytenus emarginata (Willd.) Ding Hou, Flora Malesiana Series I 6: 241(1966). Celastrus emarginata Willd., Sp. Pl. 1(2): 1128(1792), Type: eastern India. Gymnosporia montana (Roth ex Roemer & Schultes) Benth., Fl. Austral. 1: 400(1863).
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