Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Hiptage benghalensis (L.) Kurz

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Flowers. © CSIRO
Fruits. © CSIRO
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Vine stem bark and vine stem transverse section. © CSIRO

Kurz, W.S. (1874) J. Asiat. Soc. Bengal, Pt. 2, Nat. Hist. 24: 136.

Common name

Madan masta


Vine stem diameters to 3 cm recorded.


Leaf blades about 7.5-14 x 5-8.5 cm, quite stiff when fully developed, petioles about 0.8-3 cm long, shallowly grooved on the upper surface. Leaf blade margin slightly indented at the marginal glands which are visible on the underside of the leaf blade, about 8 glands on each side. Two large red spotted or green glands present on the lower surface, one on either side of the midrib near the base of the leaf blade. Underside of the leaf blade clothed in small, translucent, medifixed hairs which are visible with a lens. Minute 'oil dots' visible with a lens on the underside of the leaf blade but difficult to discern on older leaves. Stipules about 0.5-0.75 mm long, triangular, hairy.


Inflorescence about 8-15 cm long. Pedicels about 15 mm long with a bract at the base and another about halfway up. A large dark pink and green leaf-shaped gland about 7 mm long attached to the pedicel and the base of the calyx. Sepals about 10 x 4 mm, both surfaces clothed in hairs. Petals about 5-12 mm diam., margins fimbriate. Stamens 10. Staminal filaments about 4.5-8 mm long, anthers about 1.5-2 mm long. Ovary hairy with petaloid attachments. Style about 15 mm long attached slightly to the side of the ovary.


Fruits consist of 1-3, 3-winged 'samaras' with wings of unequal size, the largest wings about 4.5-5 cm long. All wings clothed in medifixed hairs. Seeds globose, about 9-10 mm long. Cotyledons fused together, cotyledons oily. Radicle about 2 mm long.


Two small cataphylls produced before the first true leaves. First pair of true leaves ovate to elliptic, base obtuse, midrib raised on the upper surface, lateral veins forming loops inside the blade margin. A number (about eight) of orbicular glands visible on the underside of the leaf blade close to the margin. Lower surface of the leaf blade sparsely clothed in medifixed hairs, upper surface glabrous. Stem densely clothed in pale, medifixed hairs. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade stiff and hard, elliptic, apex acuminate, base slightly obtuse. Midrib raised on the upper surface. A number of orbicular glands visible on the underside of the leaf blade just in from the margin. The glands are particularly obvious near the junction of the leaf blade with the petiole. Petioles, stems, and terminal buds densely clothed in white medifixed hairs.

Distribution and Ecology

An introduced species originally from Sri Lanka, India, SE Asia (including southern China and Taiwan) peninsular Malaysia and Sumatra. Now naturalised in NEQ and perhaps the Wide Bay district of south Queensland. Altitudinal range in NEQ not known but the few collections known where collected at about 20 m. Grows in disturbed lowland rain forest or gallery forest.

Banisteria benghalensis L., Species Plantarum : 427(1753). Hiptage madablota Gaertn., De Fructibus et Seminibus Plantarum 2: 169(1790), Type: Tropical Asia.
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