Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Vandasina retusa (Benth.) Rauschert

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
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Flowers. © CSIRO
Flowers and buds [not vouchered]. © G. Sankowsky
Habit, leaves and flowers. © CSIRO
Fruit [not vouchered]. © G. Sankowsky
Leaves and fruit. © CSIRO
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO
Vine stem bark and vine stem transverse section. © CSIRO

Rauschert, S. (1982) Taxon 31(3): 559.

Common name

Ru; Kong-an


Usually grows as a vine but can at times have the habit of a shrub. Vine stem diameters to 4 cm recorded. Blaze odour faint, resembling that of green beans (Phaseolus vulgaris). Bark exudate watery pink to reddish. Vessels quite large, readily visible to the naked eye.


Leaflet blades about 4.5-10 x 4.5-9 cm, both upper and lower surfaces clothed in short, pale, prostrate hairs. Apex deeply emarginate or lobed and mucronate. Stipules triangular to semi-orbicular, about 2.5-6 x 9-11 mm long, held +/- at right angles to the twigs. Stalk of the middle leaflet pulvinate and longer than those on the lateral leaflets. Leaflet stalks about 4-14 mm long. Stipels present at the base of all leaflet stalks. Twigs longitudinally ribbed.


Calyx about 4 mm long, clothed in erect hairs on both the inner and outer surfaces. Corolla about 8 mm long. Stamens 10, the filaments of nine stamens fused to form a tube open on one side. One stamen free. Ovary hairy. Style about 3.5 mm long.


Pod about 60-80 mm long, brown, clothed in fine white hairs. Seeds black, about 7 mm long, funicle mushroom-shaped, hard and greenish.


Cotyledons falcate, about 15 x 3 mm. First pair of true leaves orbicular, sub-opposite. Third leaf usually trifoliolate. At the tenth leaf stage: leaflet blades bilobed at the apex. Stipels visible at the base of the leaflets, one pair where the lateral leaflets are attached and another pair at the point of attachment of the middle leaflet. Stipules large and triangular, about 7 x 3 mm. Seed germination time 12 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in CYP and NEQ. Altitudinal range quite small, from near sea level to 50 m. Grows in open forest and other types of vegetation, including monsoon forest and beach forest close to the sea. Usually grows on sand. Also occurs in Papua New Guinea.

Natural History & Notes

Roots were roasted and eaten by Aborigines. A species of no grazing significance. Hacker (1990).

Caulinia retusa (Benth.) F.Muell., Fragmenta Phytographiae Australiae 7: 128(1869). Kennedia retusa (Benth.) F.Muell., Fragmenta Phytographiae Australiae 5: 106(1865). Vandasia retusa (Sol. ex Benth.) Domin, Bibliotheca Botanica 89(3): 774(1926). Hardenbergia retusa Benth., Flora Australiensis 2: 247(1864), Type: Queensland, Endeavour river, Banks and Solander, A. Cunningham; Dunk Island, MGillivray; Albany Island, F. Mueller; Cape York, W. Hill.
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