Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Smilax blumei A.DC.

Slender Vine
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Leaves and fruit. © CSIRO
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, hypogeal germination. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO

Masters, M.T. in Candolle, A.L.P.P. de & Candolle, A.C.P. de (1878) Monographiae Phanerogamarum 1 : 202. Type: Java, C. L. Blume; holo: BO. Fide T. Koyama, Jap. J. Bot. 35: 155 (1960).


A slender vine not exceeding a stem diameter of 2 cm.


Leaf blades about 8-17 x 7-14 cm, petioles about 1-2.5 cm long. Leaf blades 3-5-veined. 'Stipules' attached to the petioles and often extended to form simple (unbranched) tendrils.


Male flowers: Flowers borne in umbels. Pedicels about 15-25 mm long. Flowers about 10 mm long at the bud stage. Stamens 6. Anthers about 1.5 mm long. Fide Conran & Clifford (1986). Female flowers: No features available.


Fruits borne in umbels of 10-20 or more. Fruits globular, about 6-10 mm diam. on slender stalks about 5-12 mm long. Seeds about 4-6 x 4.5-5 mm. Endosperm tough. Embryo about 0.75-1 mm long, located to one side of the seed just beneath the testa.


Usually 1 or 2 cataphylls produced just outside the seed coat and 1 more further up the stem before the first true leaf. First true leaf ovate to elliptic, about 3 x 2 cm, apex acute, mucronate, base +/- obtuse, petiole about 8 mm long, base expanded into wings which embrace the stem. Leaf blade 3-veined with a fairly well developed intramarginal vein as well. Two narrow wings or ribs run down the stem from the base of each petiole. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade ovate-elliptic, apex apiculate, base obtuse. Midrib depressed on the upper surface. Leaf blade distinctly 3-veined perhaps even 5-veined. Intramarginal vein obvious often with a finer indistinct vein outside it and closer to the margin. Petiole thick and bent, the base sheathing the stem with membranous wings. Scattered spines usually present on the red stem or stems. Roots thickened. Seed germination time 245 to 958 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in CYP and NEQ, and possibly in the north eastern tip of NT. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 400 m. Grows in beach forest, monsoon forest and lowland rain forest. Also occurs in SE Asia and Malesia.

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