Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Petraeovitex multiflora (Sm.) Merr.

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Flowers. © CSIRO
Leaves and Flowers. © CSIRO
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO
Vine stem transverse section. © CSIRO

Merrill, E.D. (1917) Int. Rumph. Herb. Amb. : 453.


Vine stem diameters to 7 cm recorded. Stem composed of 4 +/- discrete longitudinal components. Blaze darkens markedly on exposure.


Compound leaves bipinnate, usually with about 9 leaflets. Leaflet blades about 2.5-11.5 x 1.3-6 cm, leaflet stalks about 1-10 mm long. Lateral veins 6-10 on each side of the midrib. Twigs frequently square in transverse section. Both the primary and secondary axes of the compound leaves can become modified to form tendrils.


Inflorescence large, about 30-40 cm long. Flowers pleasantly perfumed, about 2-3 mm diam. Calyx very small, tube about 0.4-0.9 mm long, lobes about 0.4-0.9 mm long. Corolla tube about 1.2 mm long, lobes about 1.5 mm long. Throat of the corolla tube hairy. Stamens about 3-5 mm long, inserted in the throat of the corolla tube. Staminal filaments twisted and curved in the bud, hairy towards the base. Summit of the ovary hairy. Style about 3 mm long, bifid at the apex.


Fruits are 5-winged samaras, each wing about 8 mm long penninerved like a miniature leaf. Fruit (excluding wings) about 2 x 2 mm. Seed about 1.8 mm long. Embryo about 1.5 mm long. Radicle about 0.2 mm long, shorter and narrower than the cotyledons.


Cotyledons about 4-5 x 3-5 mm, petioles about 2-3 mm long. First pair of leaves with blades about 12 x 12 mm, petioles about 8 mm long. At the tenth leaf stage: all seedling parts clothed in hairs. Leaf compound, bipinnate, each secondary compound leaf axis bearing three leaflets. Terminal leaflets about 20-28 x 12-15 mm on stalks about 3-7 mm long. Lateral leaflets about 10-20 x 9-12 mm, on stalks about 1-2 mm long. Leaflet margins usually toothed. Seed germination time 31 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in CYP. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 400 m. Grows in gallery forest, lowland and upland rain forest. Also occurs in Malesia, Solomon Islands and the islands of the Bismark Archipelago.

Petrea multiflora Sm., Rees, Cycl. 27: No 2(1814), Type: Honimoa Island, C. Smith, (holo: LINN; iso: BM).
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