Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Parsonsia ferruginea J.B.Williams

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Flowers. © G. Sankowsky
Leaves and inflorescence. © G. Sankowsky
Underside of leaves and inflorescences. © G. Sankowsky
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO
Vine stem bark and vine stem transverse section. © CSIRO

Williams, J.B. (1996) Flora Australia 28: 318. Type: Queensland, Possum Scrub, Weipa to Stones Crossing road, 9 July 1993, P. I. Forster 13519; holo: BRI; iso: MEL, QRS.

Common name

Silkpod, Hairy; Hairy Silkpod


Vine stem diameters to 3 cm recorded. Bark exudate watery brown. Vessels arranged in irregular or sinuous radical clusters, bands or lenses. Small patches of 'included bark' apparent in stem transverse sections when viewed with a lens.


Leaf blades about 6.5-17 x 3-11 cm, petioles about 0.6-3 cm long. Lateral veins about 7 on each side of the midrib. Twigs, petioles, upper and lower leaf blade surfaces densely clothed in brownish hairs. Leaf blade margin often recurved. 'Stipules' or interpetiolar glands (usually 3) densely hairy, linear, about 2.5-11 mm long. Twig exudate +/- clear.


Flowers strongly perfumed, about 6 mm diam. at anthesis. Sepals about 2.5-3 mm long, densely hairy on the outer surface. Small finger-like glands present on the inner surface near the base of the sepals. Corolla tube about 2 mm long, lobes about 2 mm long. Corolla densely clothed in brown hairs on the outer surface and with a zone of inward pointing hairs in the throat. Anthers about 2 mm long, bases sagittate, apices attenuate, anthers fused to form a cone. Nectary glands short and bilobed, surrounding the base of the ovary. Ovary about 1 mm diam. Style and stigma about 1 mm long.


Follicles about 6-8.5 x 2-3 cm, densely clothed in brown hairs. Seeds brown, about 1 x 0.2 cm, with a tuft of brown hairs attached at one end. Plumes silky, about 3-3.5 cm long. Cotyledons about 5 x 1.5 mm, radicle about 4 mm long.


Cotyledons elliptic, about 20-24 x 11-13 mm. First leaf blades ovate to elliptic, apex apiculate, base obtuse to truncate. A number of filiform stipule-like glands up to 2 mm long are present on the stems near the point of attachment of the petioles. At the tenth leaf stage: plants twining, leaves mostly alternate but changing to opposite about the tenth leaf stage. Leaf blades cordate to elliptic, apex acuminate, base cordate. All plant parts densely clothed in erect, rusty brown hairs. Stipules or stipule-like glands linear with 4 or 5 long and 2 short glands at each node, 1.5-12 mm long. Seed germination time 34 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to Queensland. Occurs in CYP and NEQ. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 300 m. Grows in gallery forest, some of the drier types of rain forest and monsoon forest.

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