Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Parsonsia densivestita C.T.White

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

White, C.T. (1933) Contributions from the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University 4: 92. Type: Queensland, Boonjie, 30 Sept. 1929, S. F. Kajewski 1347; holo: BRI, iso: A, NSW.

Common name



A slender vine not attaining a stem diameter greater than 2 cm.


Leaf blades about 10-20 x 5-9 cm, petioles about 2-6 cm long. Lateral veins about 5-7 on each side of the midrib. Upper and lower leaf blade surfaces clothed in short erect translucent, pale brown or ginger hairs. Small glands resembling tiny stipules, about 1.5 mm long, visible on the twigs between the petiole bases. Twigs and petioles densely clothed in brown hairs.


Inflorescence about 5 cm diam. with three main branches in the panicle. Flowers about 10-12 mm diam. Calyx lobes about 6 mm long, both surfaces clothed in hairs. Corolla tube about 2 mm long, densely clothed in white hairs on both the inner and outer surfaces, lobes about 5-6 mm long. Anthers about 4 mm long, connate at the apices, each anther with two tails at the base. Nectary scales surrounding the base of the ovary, each about 2 mm long and bifid at the apex. Ovary densely hairy. Style and/or stigma about 2-5 mm long, fused to the anthers. Ovules numerous in each locule.


Fruits about 20-22 x 1.8 cm, densely clothed in short, velvety, golden-brown hairs. Calyx persistent at the base. Seeds numerous, each seed about 1.5-2 x 0.3-0.4 cm, angular, plumed at one end, plumes about 3-6 cm long. Cotyledons V-shaped in transverse section. Radicle about 3-5 mm long, shorter and narrower than the cotyledons which are up to 9 mm long.


Cotyledons ovate to cordate, about 22-39 x 18-25 mm, 3-veined at the base, lateral veins forming loops inside the margins, upper and lower surfaces sparsely clothed in hairs. First leaves ovate to elliptic, upper and lower surfaces hairy. At the tenth leaf stage: plants twining, all parts clothed in short soft hairs. Glands about 1 mm long and resembling stipules visible on the stems between the petiole bases. Leaf blade elliptic to obovate, apex acuminate, base obtuse. Midrib raised on the upper surface of the leaf blade. Seed germination time 37 to 81 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to NEQ. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 1200 m. Usually grows in upland or mountain rain forests.

Natural History & Notes

Food plant for the larval stages of the Cairns Hamadryad and Common Crow Butterflies. Sankowsky & Neilsen (2000).

RFK Code
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