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Common Milk Vine

Marsdenia rostrata
Common Milk Vine

This robust, twining vine can be identified by its dark-green, opposite leaves, on long leaf stalks, which have a yellowish-white midvein on the upper surface. When a leaf is broken off, milky-white sap comes out, which is why, locally, it is commonly called Milky Vine.

On looking closely, one can see a few brown specks (glands) on the midvein at the base of the leaf. The leaves are variable in shape but there is usually a short, pointed tip.

The small, fragrant flowers are yellowish, with 5 spreading petal lobes, and they are borne in clusters in the forks of the leaves in spring and summer. The fruit is dry, about 5 cm long, broad at the base and tapering to a point. The many seeds each have a tuft of silky hairs. The plant can be grown from cuttings or from fresh seed, which germinates in 1-2 months.

Distribution: Eastern Vic, NSW, to Northeast Qld and Lord Howe Island.