Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Pothos longipes Schott

Slender Vine
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Portion of infl showing apices of ovaries, stigmas and anthers. © CSIRO
Leaves and inflorescences. © CSIRO
Leaves and fruit. © G. Sankowsky
Fruits, fruit side view, transverse section and seed. © W. T. Cooper
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, hypogeal germination. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO

Schott, H.W. (1856) Synopsis Aroidearum : 23. Type: Backhouse, [(in nova Hollandia (Wilson River, Port Macquairi. New South-Wales. in Herb. Hooker).].

Common name



A slender vine not exceeding a stem diameter of 2 cm. Adventitious roots often present.


Leaf blades about 3-5 x 1-2 cm, petioles about 2.5-8 x 1-1.5 cm, usually longer than the leaf blades, base clasping the stem. Leaf twigs +/- pendulous from the main stems which adhere to the stems of trees by means of adventitious roots.


Flowering spike about 15-60 x 5-9 mm, borne on a peduncle about 26-50 mm long. Spathe about 35-60 x 10-15 mm. Individual flowers about 1.3 mm diam. Tepals about 1 x 1 mm, broad at the apex. Staminal filaments broad and strap-like, much wider than the anthers, about 1-1.5 x 1 mm, broadest at the base. Pollen white. Ovules one per locule, attached near the base of each locule. Ovules immersed or surrounded by clear mucilage.


Individual fruits obovoid, about 15-25 x 10-15 mm. Seeds flat on one side, about 11-15 x 5-6 mm. Testa grey-brown. Embryo large, about the same size as the seed, not differentiated into radicle and plumule. Plumule lateral in a cavity in the side of the seed.


A number of cataphylls produced before the first true leaves. First pair of true leaves with broad, flat, leaf-like petioles, with the base of the petiole clasping the stem. Leaves and stem glabrous. Roots emerging from the stem below the cataphylls. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade lobed (waisted) apex mucronate, petiole absent, base of the leaf blade sheathing the stem. Streaky 'oil dots' visible with a lens. Adventitious roots produced at each leaf node. Seed germination time 15 to 21 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in CYP, NEQ, CEQ and southwards to north-eastern New South Wales. Altitudinal range in NEQ from near sea level to 1150 m. Grows in well developed rain forest on a variety of sites on various rock types. Also occurs in New Guinea?

Natural History & Notes

Fruit eaten by Cassowaries, Victoria's Riflebirds and Fruit pigeons. Cooper & Cooper (1994).

Pothos australasicus F.Muell., Fragmenta Phytographiae Australiae 1: 62(1858), Type: In silvis densis circum Moreton Bay. Hill & Mueller. Pothos brownii Domin, Repertorium Specierum Novarum Regni Vegetabilis 10 : 58(1911), Type: Queensland, Dense vine-scrubs near Harveys Creek and Bellenden Ker (Domin 1909-1910). Pothos loureiri Hook. & Arn., The Botany of Captain Beechey's Voyage 5 : 220(1837).
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