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Wombat Berry

Eustrephus latifolius
Wombat Berry
Very Common

This is a slender vine with alternate leaves which have many fine, closely spaced, longitudinal veins. The leaves are pointed, have no leaf stalk and, in our area, are 4-8 cm by 2-3 cm. The stems are smooth. Because the leaves on each branchlet are twisted, so they all face the light, these may appear, at first sight, to be compound leaves.

The pretty flowers, which appear in spring or early summer, hang in small clusters in the forks of the leaves. The petals are pinkish-mauve and the inner three are fringed with white hairs. The fruit are round, orange berries, which are very attractive hanging among the foliage of the supporting tree. Each fruit contains a number of shiny, black seeds. Wombat Berry can be grown from fresh seed that takes 1-3 months to germinate.

The wide leaf (in this area) and the absence of a raised midvein on the upper surface distinguish this vine from the Scrambling Lily Geitonoplesium cymosum. Also, Wombat Berry leaves are almost the same bright-green on both surfaces, while those of the Scrambling Lily are clearly paler on the underside.

Distribution: Eastern Vic, NSW, to Northeast Qld.