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Sarcostemma viminale subsp. brunonianum

Family

Apocynaceae

Botanical Name

Sarcostemma viminale subsp. brunonianum (Wight & Arn.) P.I.Forst.

Forster, P.I. (1992) Australian Systematic Botany 5(1): 63. Type: ?.

Synonyms

Sarcostemma brunonianum Wight & Arn., Contr. Bot. India 59: (1834), Type: Herb. Wight, propr. 1557 Sarcostemma bunoniana W & A. Peninsula Ind. orientalis 1836; iso: G-DC.

Common name

Caustic Bush; Vine, Caustic; Pencil, Caustic,; Caustic Pencil; Milkbush; Caustic Vine

Stem

Usually grows as a shrub-like plant but can also assume the architecture of a vine with a stem perhaps attaining 3-4 cm diam.

Leaves

Leaves reduced to small, triangular scales about 1-1.5 mm long. Photosynthetic material present in the green succulent branches which produce copious amounts of milky exudate when cut or broken.

Flowers

Inflorescence a short raceme or fascicle. Pedicels about 7-8 mm long. Flowers about 9-15 mm diam. Calyx lobes triangular, about 0.8-1 mm long. Corolla lobes about 5-6 x 2 mm, recurved. Staminal corona about 3-4 mm diam. Anthers about 1 mm long, appendages terminal. Carpels about 0.8-1 mm long. Styles free at the base, about 1.2 mm long. Style head about 0.8-1 mm.

Fruit

Follicles about 7-9 x 0.4 cm. Seeds about 5-6 x 1.5-2 mm, plumes about 15-17 mm long.

Seedlings

Features not available.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in WA, NT, CYP, NEQ and southwards as far as north-eastern New South Wales. Altitudinal range in northern Australia from near sea level to 550 m. Grows in rocky areas in open forest, vine thicket and monsoon forest. Also occurs in Africa, Asia and Malesia.

Natural History

A food plant for the larval stages of the Australian Crow Butterfly. Common & Waterhouse (1981).

WA

X

NT

X

CYP

X

NEQ

X

Vine

X

RFK Code

2248