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Turbina corymbosa



Botanical Name

Turbina corymbosa (L.) Raf.

Rafinesque, C.S. (1838) Flora Telluriana 4: 81. Type: ?.


Convolvulus corymbosa L., Systema naturae ed. 10: 923(1759), Type: Central America?.

Common name

Christmas Vine




Vine stem diameters to 5 cm recorded. Blaze odour resembles that of green beans (Phaseolus vulgaris). Concentric rings or bark visible in transverse sections of the stem. Included bark produces a small amount of watery milky exudate.


Leaf blades about 4.5-14 x 3.5-11 cm, petioles slender, about 2-6.5 cm long.


Flowers about 3 cm diam., corolla trumpet-shaped. Corolla mainly white except for a brown or maroon centre at the base of the inner corolla tube and cream to green patches between the corolla lobes. Stamens attached near the base of the corolla tube, the basal half of the filaments clothed in golden hairs. Apex of the style ending in two globose stigmas.


Calyx lobes persistent as five membranous wings at the base of the fruit. The style (or part of the style) persisting as a mucro (about 1-2 mm long) at the apex of the fruit. Seeds clothed in short brown hairs. Endosperm hard, oily enveloping the cotyledons which ramify through the endosperm. Cotyledons 2-lobed, folded many times in a complicated fashion, radicle about 3 mm long.


Cotyledons bilobed, each lobe about 25-40 x 10-13 mm, petioles about 18-25 mm long. Midrib forking before reaching the margin. First pair of true leaves cordate, about 7-8 x 6-7 cm, apex acuminate, base cordate, petiole about 6-7 cm long. Usually about 5-7 veins, including the midrib, radiating from the base of the leaf blade. Stems starting to twine.

Distribution and Ecology

An introduced species originally from tropical America, now naturalized in NEQ. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 750 m. Grows in rain forest regrowth and in lowland and upland rain forest. Also naturalized in parts of Malesia and the Philippines.

Natural History

This species may have been introduced for its horticultural attributes but it is a well known in Central and South America for its hallucinogenic properties. Albert Hofmann LSD - My Problem Child ( 16-8-2000).





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