Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Rhaphidophora australasica F.M.Bailey

Slender Vine
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Fruit [not vouchered]. CC-BY J.L. Dowe
Leaves and inflorescences. © CSIRO
Leaves and inflorescences [not vouchered]. © G. Sankowsky
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO

Bailey, F.M. (1897) Queensland Agricultural Journal 1(6): 452. Type: Mourilyan Harbour, near Esmeralda Plantation, W. Mugford.


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


Leaf blades about 25-55 x 7-14 cm, petioles about 10-30 cm long, distinctly channelled on the upper surface. Leaf blade margins somewhat thickened. Venation parallel with about 15-25 major veins running from the midrib to an intramarginal vein close to the edge of the leaf blade. Numerous 'oil dots' both orbicular and streaky, visible with a lens. A 'stipule' or ligule is present on young leaves and is attached to the petiole extending down and encircling the twig or stem. However, it soon withers and leaves a distinct scar on the petiole and stem.


Primary peduncle about 17 cm long with a distinct (almost 90 degree) bend just beneath the spathe. Spathe about 13 cm long. Flowers emit an odour like that of rotting vegetation. Flowering spike (spadix) about 5-8 x 1.8 cm long, enclosed in a spathe about 12 cm long, borne on a peduncle about 8-17 cm long. Stamens about 6(?) per flower. Anthers have comparatively wide, strap-like appendages at the apex, each about 1 mm long. Staminal filaments strap-like, about 1-1.5 mm long, wider than the anthers. Stigma dark, sessile, +/- cigar-shaped. Ovules numerous.


Infructescence about 7-7.5 cm long. Individual fruits about 8 mm long. Seeds 1-5 per fruit, each seed about 1.5 mm long. Embryo curved, about 1 mm long.


Features not available.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to Queensland, occurs in CYP and NEQ. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 1000 m. Occurs in a variety of different types of rain forest on various rock types.

Natural History & Notes

Aborigines rubbed on a decoction of roots and leaves to cure rheumatic pains. Cribb (1981).

RFK Code
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