Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Rourea brachyandra F.Muell.

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Habit and flowers. © B. Gray
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, hypogeal germination. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Vine stem bark and vine stem transverse section. © CSIRO

Mueller, F.J.H. von (1874) Fragmenta Phytographiae Australiae 8: 6. Type: In silvis udis umbrosis pone Rockinghams Bay; Dallachy.

Common name

Vine, Water; Water Vine


Vine stem diameters to 8 cm recorded. Outer bark finely flaky, individual flakes 2-4 mm wide. Bark included in the wood in +/- concentric rings or loops. Stems often fluted and contorted.


Usually 3-7 leaflets in each compound leaf. Leaflet blades 4.5-14 x 2-6.5 cm, lateral leaflet stalks about 0.2-0.6 cm long, transversely wrinkled. 'Stalk' of the middle or terminal leaflet longer than those of the lateral leaflets. Pulvinus present only on the stalk of the middle or terminal leaflet.


Flowers strongly perfumed, the odour resembling that of bee stings. Male flowers: Flowers about 4 mm diam. at anthesis. Sepals about 2 mm long. Petals about 5 mm long, narrower than the sepals. Stamens 10, alternately long and short, the shorter stamens opposite the petals. Short stamens with filaments about 1 mm long. Long stamens with filaments about 1.5 mm long. Carpels 8, sterile, each about 0.3 mm long. Female or hermaphrodite flowers: Sepals about 2 x 1 mm. Petals obovate, about 5 x 2 mm. Stamens 10, 5 short and 5 long. Carpels 5, each about 0.5-0.7 mm long. Stigmas sessile.


Fruits about 13-15 x 6 mm, surface longitudinally striated. Calyx remnants persistent at the base of the fruit. Aril bright red, enveloping the seed. Testa brown. Seed ellipsoid, about 9-10 x 5 mm. Cotyledons thick, about 6 mm long. Radicle about 0.5 mm diam.


First leaves unifoliolate, broadly lanceolate to ovate, apex acute, base cordate. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf or leaflets ovate, apex acuminate to acute, base obtuse to cordate. Upper and lower surfaces of the leaf or leaflet blades clothed in dark-coloured glands which are visible with a lens. Lateral veins forming loops inside the blade margin. Terminal bud densely clothed in pale brown erect hairs. Seed germination time 20 to 49 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in NEQ and CEQ. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 700 m. Grows in well developed lowland and upland rain forest. Also occurs in Asia, Malesia and the Pacific islands.

Natural History & Notes

This species appears to be poisonous but it may also have medicinal properties.

Santaloides brachyandrum Schellenb., Beitrage zur Vergleichden Anatomie und Systemak der Connaraceen 50: 50(1910). Aegiceras minus Gaertn., Fruct. 1: 216(1788), Type: Ind. or. Rourea minus (Gaertn.) Leenh., Flora Malesiana Series I 5: 514(1958).
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