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Staff Vine

Celastrus australis
Staff Vine
Very Common

A vigorous woody climber, which can be distinguished by its alternate, dark-green leaves, usually with small teeth along the edges. The leaves are up to 12 cm long with a tip that is often curved and the midvein is raised on the upper surface.

Leaves of the Staff Vine are shiny, but not as glossy as those of the Gum Vine. The stems of the branchlets are grey-brown or red-brown, with many pale, raised spots.

The greenish, fragrant flowers, with spreading petals, are small but numerous, and occur on slender flower spikes about 10 cm long. The fruit are small (about 7 mm), leathery, orange-brown capsules. When ripe, the capsule cover splits into 3 lobes which turn back to reveal 3 bright-orange segments, each of which contains 1 or 2 seeds.

This hardy vine is common in most rainforest patches. It can be grown from seed, taking 1-3 months to germinate.

Distribution: East GippsIand (Vic) to Bunya Mountains (Sth Q1d).