Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Rhamnella vitiensis (Benth.) A.C.Sm.

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
Click/tap on images to enlarge
Flowers [not vouchered]. © G. Sankowsky
Leaves and flowers [not vouchered]. © G. Sankowsky
Leaves and Flowers. © CSIRO
Fruit [not vouchered]. © G. Sankowsky
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Vine stem bark and vine stem transverse section. © CSIRO

Smith, A.C. (1943) Bulletin Torrey Botanical Club 70: 544(1943).

Common name



Usually grows into a large vine but also flowers and fruits as a shrub. Vine stem diameters to 8 cm recorded. Outer bark has a plaited appearance. Cambial layer turns brown on exposure.


Leaf blades about 4-11.5 x 1.5-5 cm, petioles about 0.4-1.4 cm long, narrowly grooved on the upper surface. Teeth small, numerous, mainly towards the apex. Stipules triangular, about 1-2.5 mm long. Lateral veins about 6 or 7 on each side of the midrib, curving inside the blade margin.


Flowers about 3-5 mm diam., pedicels about 4-7 mm long. Calyx lobes about 2 mm long, keeled on the inner surface. Petals small, about 1-1.5 mm long, completely enveloping each stamen until anthesis. Staminal filaments about 1-1.5 mm long, anthers about 0.6 x 0.6 mm. Ovules large, solitary in each locule. Style about 1.2 mm long.


Fruits about 8 x 5 mm, usually solitary in the leaf axils. Pedicel longer than the fruit. Calyx persistent at the base. Pericarp soft and watery at maturity. Endocarp quite hard and leathery, about 8 x 5 mm. Cotyledons green, about 4.5 x 3 mm. Radicle about 1 mm long.


Cotyledons thick and crinkly, about 6-7 x 3-4 mm, First pair of leaves with toothed margins, stipules about 1-2 mm long. At the tenth leaf stage: seedling glabrous, stem zig-zagged. Stipules about 2 mm long, triangular. Seed germination time 13 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in CYP, NEQ, CEQ and southwards as far as coastal central Queensland. Altitudinal range in CYP and NEQ from near sea level to 950 m. Grows in monsoon forest and well developed lowland and upland rain forest. Also occurs in Malesia and the Pacific islands.


Dallachya vitiensis (Benth.) F.Muell. , Mueller, F.J.H. von (1875) Fragmenta Phytographiae Australiae 9: 140. Rhamnus vitiensis Benth., Flora Australiensis 1: 413(1863), Lectotype: Cape York, Qld, 12 Nov. 1849, J.MacGillivray s.n. (K 356672, photo MEL, ex herb. Hooker).

RFK Code
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