Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Pleogyne australis Benth.

Slender Vine
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Herbarium sheet with flowers. CC-BY: ATH.
Herbarium specimen: flowers. CC-BY: ATH.
10th leaf stage seedling. CC-BY: ATH.

Bentham, G. (1863), Flora Australiensis 1: 59. Type: "Queensland. Keppel Bay, R. Brown; Moreton Bay, A. Cunningham, F. Mueller; Fitzroy river, F. Mueller."


Slender woody climber, stems twining. Buds and young stems densely hairy with pale grey/brown simple hairs.


Leaves simple, alternate. Stipules absent. Petiole 3-30 mm long, ± swollen at junction with leaf blade (less obvious in dry specimens), densely to sparsely hairy, occasionally very shallowly peltate. Leaf blades ovate to broad-ovate, lanceolate to oblong-elliptic, palmate, 4-13 cm long, 2.5-7.5 cm wide, base rounded or ± cordate, margin entire (juveniles ± coarsely toothed in basal half), apex obtuse or acute, sometimes with a mucro. Lateral veins 3-6 pairs. Upper surface hairy to sparsely hairy above, lower surface densely hairy to sparsely hairy below.


Inflorescence axillary, tomentose, male inflorescence paniculate, female inforescence subracemose. Flowers unisexual and plants dioecious, actinomorphic, 3-merous, small, < 2 mm diam. Pedicels short or subsessile. Sepals 12-15, 1.5-2 mm long, in whorls of 3, outer 9-12 sepals smaller than inner 3, inner whorl largest and yellowish; petals 6, much smaller than sepals, 0.5-0.75 mm long, dimorphic. Male flowers with 3 stamens, 3 petals alternating with the stamens with lateral auricles, 3 petals opposite the stamens with a pair of gland-like swellings on the inner surface. Female flowers (not seen), without staminodes; carpels 6, free (gynoecium apocarpous), ovaries superior; style subulate, recurved; ovules two per ovary.


Fruit fleshy, a drupe (1-6 develop from a single flower), each compressed-globose, 5-11 mm diam., at first yellow, turning reddish or black when ripe, hairy; stone solitary in each drupe, seed solitary, slightly curved or bean shaped.


Features not available.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in NEQ (Paluma Range near Townsville), CEQ and southwards to south-eastern Queensland. Habitats include Araucarian vine forest, rainforest and vine thickets.

Natural History & Notes

This profile information and associated coding has been adapted from Cooper & Cooper (2004), Forman (2007), Harden et al. (2014) and Kessler (1993).

Microclisia australis (Benth.) Benth. ex Miers, The Annals and Magazine of Natural History, series 3 19: 325, (1867). Pleogyne cunninghamii Miers,  The Annals and Magazine of Natural History, series 3 19: 324, (1867). Type: "In Australia boreali: v.s. in herb. Heward, Cambridge Gulf (A. Cunningham, 469).
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