Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Marsdenia viridiflora R.Br.

Slender Vine
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Flowers. © CSIRO
Leaves and Flowers. © CSIRO
Fruit. © CSIRO
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO

Brown, R. (1810), Prodromus Florae Novae Hollandiae: 461. Brown, R. (1810), On the Asclepiadeae: 19. Type: "In Nova Hollandia, intra tropicum, (ubi v.v.)" Lectotype: Queensland, Port Curtis District: Broad Sound, Thirsty Sounde-inner entrance, R. Brown s.n., 24 Sep. 1802 (Iter Australiense 2885) (with the words 'Marsdenia viridiflora R.Br. Prod. xx' in Brown's hand along the bottom of the sheet): BM (photo at BRI); isolecto: CANB (278893)). Forster, P.I., Australian Systematic Botany 8(5): 786, (1995).

Common name

Bush Banana; Pear, Native; Banana, Bush; Magabala; Native Pear


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


All plant parts produce a copious white exudate. Leaf blades rather thick, about 3-8.5 x 0.4-4.5 cm, petioles about 0.4-2.5 cm long, grooved on the upper surface. About 2-4 colleters (small finger-like glands) present on the upper surface of the midrib near its junction with the petiole. Lateral veins about 10-18 on each side of the midrib forming loops near the blade margin. Small stipule-like glands usually present on the twigs between the petiole bases.


Flowers about 5-7 mm diam. Peduncles about 3-15 mm long. Pedicels about 5-13 mm long. Calyx lobes about 1.5-3 mm long. Small stalked glands present on the inner surface near the junction of adjacent lobes. Corolla tube about 2-3 mm long with scattered long hairs in the throat, lobes about 1.5-3 mm long, right hand margins overlapping. Staminal corona scales +/- peltate, certainly cordate. Anther connective extended beyond the anther as a thin membranous halo or cowl. Pollen grains aggregated in pollinia, one in each anther locule. Carpels 2, each about 1-1.5 mm long.


Fruits ovoid, about 7 cm long. Seeds numerous. Seed + plume about 40 mm long. Embryo about 4 mm long, cotyledons longer and wider than the radicle.


Features not available.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in WA, NT, CYP, NEQ and CEQ. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 600 m. Grows in open forest and vine thicket. Also occurs in New Guinea.

Natural History & Notes

There are two subspecies of this taxon that occur in the region covered by this treatment. Marsdenia viridiflora R.Br. subsp. viridiflora and Marsdenia viridiflora subsp. tropica P.I.Forst. Marsdenia viridiflora R.Br. subsp. viridiflora occurs in woodland, Brigalow scrub, vine thickets and dry rainforest north from Forty Mile Scrub N.P. (SW of Cairns), north Qld, to the Razorback Range (S of Sydney), NSW, and west to Narrabri area, NSW, and Carnarvon N.P., Qld. Marsdenia viridiflora subsp. tropica P.I.Forst. occurs in tropical north Qld (Townsville north), NT and WA, and New Guinea. It grows in open forest or rarely in vine thickets.

The subspecies are distinguished by flower size (Forster 1995):
Flowers 3-3.5 mm long; sepals 1.5-2 mm long; corolla lobes 1.8-2 mm long
..........................................M. subsp. viridiflora
Flowers 4-5 mm long; sepals 2.5-3.5 mm long; corolla lobes 2-3 mm long
..........................................M.subsp. tropica


Pergularia viridiflora (R.Br.) Spreng., Systema Vegetabilium 1: 844, (1824).
Bidaria leptophylla F.Muell., Transactions of the Philosophical Institute of Victoria 3: 60  (1859). Type: "At the sources of the Burdeken River." Marsdenia leptophylla F.Muell. ex Benth., Flora Australiensis 4: 340 (1868), Type: "Queensland. Burdekin River, F. Mueller. A single specimen in Herb. Hook." Leichardtia leptophylla (Benth.) Bullock., Kew Bulletin 11(2): 287 (1956).

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