Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Lepistemon urceolatus (R.Br.) F.Muell.

Slender Vine
Click/tap on images to enlarge
Flowers. © Barry Jago
Leaves and Flowers. © CSIRO
Leaves and fruits. © CSIRO
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO

Mueller, F.J.H. von (1883) Systematic Census of Australian Plants : 94.


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


Leaf blades about 7.5-13.5 x 6-13 cm, petioles about 3.5-7 cm long. Stems, petioles, upper and lower leaf blade surfaces clothed in pale, +/- prostrate hairs. Lateral veins about 6-8 on each side of the midrib.


Inflorescence is a rather dense panicle. Flowers about 10-15 mm diam. Sepals broadly ovate, about 2-3 x 2 mm. Corolla tube about 10-15 mm long. Anthers about 2.5 mm long, filaments about 1.5-2.5 mm long, swollen at the base to form a structure over the ovary. Anthers about 2 mm long, pollen white. Disk about 1 mm high, surrounding the ovary. Ovary about 1-1.5 mm long. Style about 1 mm long. Stigma bulbous, 2-lobed, about 1 x 1.5 mm. Ovules 2 per locule.


Fruits globular, about 7-9 x 5-10 mm, sepals short, persistent at the base. Seeds up to 4 per fruit, each seed 4-5 mm long, quadrant-shaped, surface densely clothed in short soft hairs. Cotyledons bilobed, crumpled and folded in a complex fashion. Radicle about 2.5-4 mm long. Endosperm intrudes between the folds in the cotyledons.


Cotyledons V-shaped, about 28-31 x 22-29 mm. Midrib not extending to the apex. First leaves cordate, apex acuminate, base auriculate. Third leaf base hastate. Stem and petioles densely clothed in white retrorse (back pointing) hairs. At the tenth leaf stage: stem twining, leaf blade 3-lobed, apex acuminate, acute and mucronate, base hastate. Upper and lower leaf blade surfaces clothed in appressed hairs with glandular bases, and small glands (which are visible with a lens). 'Oil dots' visible only from the upper surface. Midrib raised on the upper surface. Petioles and stem densely clothed in backward-pointing, pale coloured hairs. Seed germination time 26 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in CYP and NEQ. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 150 m. Grows in beach forest, monsoon forest and rain forest. Also occurs in Malesia and some Pacific islands.

Ipomoea urceolata R.Br., Prod. 1: 485(1810), Type: Endeavour River? Banks & Solander; (BM?). Lepistemon fitzalanii F.Muell., Fragmenta Phytographiae Australiae 10: 111(1877), Type: Prope portum Trinity-Bay; Fitzalan. Lepistemon lucae F.Muell., The Victorian Naturalist 2: 75(1885), Type: Between Endeavour-river and Port Douglas. [Dr T.P.Lucas].
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