Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Turbina corymbosa (L.) Raf.

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Leaves and Flowers. © CSIRO
Leaves and fruits. © CSIRO
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Vine stem bark and vine stem transverse section. © CSIRO

Rafinesque, C.S. (1838) Flora Telluriana 4: 81.

Common name

Christmas Vine


Vine stem diameters to 5 cm recorded. Blaze odour resembles that of green beans (Phaseolus vulgaris). Concentric rings or bark visible in transverse sections of the stem. Included bark produces a small amount of watery milky exudate.


Leaf blades about 4.5-14 x 3.5-11 cm, petioles slender, about 2-6.5 cm long.


Flowers about 3 cm diam., corolla trumpet-shaped. Corolla mainly white except for a brown or maroon centre at the base of the inner corolla tube and cream to green patches between the corolla lobes. Stamens attached near the base of the corolla tube, the basal half of the filaments clothed in golden hairs. Apex of the style ending in two globose stigmas.


Calyx lobes persistent as five membranous wings at the base of the fruit. The style (or part of the style) persisting as a mucro (about 1-2 mm long) at the apex of the fruit. Seeds clothed in short brown hairs. Endosperm hard, oily enveloping the cotyledons which ramify through the endosperm. Cotyledons 2-lobed, folded many times in a complicated fashion, radicle about 3 mm long.


Cotyledons bilobed, each lobe about 25-40 x 10-13 mm, petioles about 18-25 mm long. Midrib forking before reaching the margin. First pair of true leaves cordate, about 7-8 x 6-7 cm, apex acuminate, base cordate, petiole about 6-7 cm long. Usually about 5-7 veins, including the midrib, radiating from the base of the leaf blade. Stems starting to twine. Seed germination time 7 to 143 days.

Distribution and Ecology

An introduced species originally from tropical America, now naturalised in NEQ. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 750 m. Grows in rain forest regrowth and in lowland and upland rain forest. Also naturalised in parts of Malesia and the Philippines.

Convolvulus corymbosa L., Systema naturae ed. 10 : 923(1759), Type: Central America?.
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