Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Merremia gemella (Burm.f.) Hallier f.

Slender Vine
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Flower. © Australian Plant Image Index (APII). Photographer: M. Fagg.
Leaves, flowers and fruits. © CSIRO
Cotyledon and 1st leaf stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO

Hallier, J.G. (1893) Botanische Jahrbucher 16: 552.


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


Leaf blades about 2.5-4 x 1.5-2.8 cm, petioles about 1-2.2 cm long. Lateral veins about 6 or 7 on each side of the midrib. Midrib clothed in hairs on the upper surface, glabrous on the lower.


Inflorescence longer than the leaves, peduncles usually longer than the petioles (often much longer). Flowers about 20 mm diam. Sepals about 8 mm long, glabrous, apex emarginate. Corolla tube about 20 mm long, glabrous outside. Stamens not exceeding the corolla tube. Style about 10 mm long, stigma bilobed. Ovules 2 per locule.


Fruits globular, about 5-8 mm diam., sepals persistent, reflexed, not enclosing the fruit. Fruit apex excavated, resembling a crater. Seeds usually 4 per fruit, each about 2.5-3 x 3 mm, densely clothed in short soft hairs. Cotyledons crumpled and folded with endosperm intrusions between the folds. Radicle curved, about 2-2.5 mm long, smaller than the cotyledons.


Cotyledons bilobed, about 19-20 x 24-27 mm, petioles about as long as the cotyledon blades. Cotyledonary midrib not extending to the apex of the cotyledon. First leaves cordate, apex apiculate, base +/- auriculate. Lower surface +/- glabrous, upper surface sparsely hairy, petiole hairy. At the tenth leaf stage: stem twining, leaf blade cordate, apex acuminate and mucronate, base auriculate, margin sinuate. Leaf blade sparsely hairy along the midrib and lateral veins on the upper surface, lower surface glabrous. Stems and petioles clothed in short, broad-based, conical projections. Seed germination time 8 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in WA, NT, CYP, NEQ and CEQ. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 100 m. Usually grows on heavy soils in open forest areas but also found on the edge of gallery forest. Also occurs in SE Asia and Malesia.

Merremia gemella Hallier f. var. gemella, Flora Malesiana ser. I 4: 441.(1951). Convolvulus gemellus Burm. f., Fl. Ind. : 46(1768), Type: India?.
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