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Gum Vine

Aphanopetalum resinosum
Gum Vine

This climber can be recognized by its very glossy, dark-green, opposite leaves, whose edges have shallow, blunt teeth. The leaves are firm, up to 10 cm long, with a blunt or shortly pointed tip.

Gum Vine belongs in the same plant family as the Coachwood and the NSW Christmas Bush. The petals of the flower are minute or absent, but there are 4 greenish, petal-like sepals (like a Coachwood flower). Flowering takes place in late spring or summer, the flowers occurring singly, or in short clusters, in the forks of the leaves.

As the fruit ripens in autumn, the sepals remain, enclosing a small nut, which contains the tiny seed. New plants germinate from the whole fruit, which needs to be sown fresh.

Gum Vine could be confused with the Staff Vine, Celastrus australis, however that species has alternate leaves which are not as glossy as those of the Gum Vine.

Distribution: Nadgee Nature Reserve (NSW) to Kenilworth (Sth Q1d).