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Pearl Vine

Sarcopetalum harveyanum
Pearl Vine

This vine has alternate, very glossy, heart-shaped leaves, with 7 prominent veins radiating from the base of the leaf. The leaves have a long, narrow tip, 2 rounded lobes at the base of the leaf blade and there may be a few small irregular angles on the leaf edge. The leaf stalk is long, more than half as long as the leaf blade and it joins the edge of the leaf between the two lobes.

This vine might, perhaps, be confused with the introduced English Ivy (Hedera helix) which, unfortunately, has spread into many rainforest patches. Ivy, however, has pronounced angles on its leaves, the tip is broad, the leaves less glossy, and the leaf stalk is usually twice as long as the leaf blade.

Pearl Vine is often seen on the ground as a young plant but it can develop into a tall woody climber. In summer, the small pinkish-yellow flowers are in clusters of spikes on the old wood. The fruit (5-8 mm wide) is bright-red. Pearl Vine can be propagated from fresh seed which germinates in 1-3 months.

Distribution: Eastern Vic, NSW to Northeast Qld.