is an Australian vine in the Birthwort
The Aristolochiaceae, or the Birthwort family, are a family of flowering plants with 7 genera and about 400 species belonging to the order Piperales...
family. The Richmond Birdwing Butterfly Vine
grows in subtropical rainforest in coastal areas north from Wollongbar, in far north eastern New South Wales
New South Wales is a state of :Australia, located in the east of the country. It is bordered by Queensland, Victoria and South Australia to the north, south and west respectively. To the east, the state is bordered by the Tasman Sea, which forms part of the Pacific Ocean. New South Wales...
and adjacent areas in south eastern Queensland
Queensland is a state of Australia, occupying the north-eastern section of the mainland continent. It is bordered by the Northern Territory, South Australia and New South Wales to the west, south-west and south respectively. To the east, Queensland is bordered by the Coral Sea and Pacific Ocean...
. It has been recorded as far north as the Mary River. It also grows in tropical north eastern Queensland, where it is a food plant for the Cairns Birdwing
The Cairns Birdwing is a species of birdwing butterfly endemic to northeastern Australia, and is Australia's largest endemic butterfly species.-Description:...
Richmond Birdwing Butterfly
This vine is the main food species for the Richmond Birdwing butterfly. This plant has suffered from habitat loss since the appearance of European settlers. Former areas of its habitat have been almost completely destroyed, such as at the Big Scrub
The Big Scrub was the largest area of subtropical lowland rainforest in eastern Australia. It was intensively cleared for agricultural use in the 19th century by colonists...
. In recent times there have been programs by schools and government authorities, attempting to encourage new plantings of this vine. This is mostly for the benefit of the Richmond Birdwing butterfly. It is considered that the caterpillars of this butterfly do not kill the vines, as the caterpillars only eat new fresh leaves, and ignore the older mature leaves.
grows as a large woody vine, characterized by dense brown hairs on leaf stems, shoots and flowering parts.
The ovate to elliptic
In botany, leaf shape is characterised with the following terms :* Acicular : Slender and pointed, needle-like* Acuminate : Tapering to a long point...
shaped leaves measure from 7 to 25 cm (3–10 in) long, and 2.5 to 8 cm (1-3.4 in) wide. The base of the leaf is heart shaped or rounded. The leaf surface is a dull dark green above, and hairy below, particularly on the leaf veins. The leaf stems are 1 to 3 cm (0.4-1.2 in) long, thick and twisted.
Two to six tubular shaped flowers form on raceme
A raceme is a type of inflorescence that is unbranched and indeterminate and bears pedicellate flowers — flowers having short floral stalks called pedicels — along the axis. In botany, axis means a shoot, in this case one bearing the flowers. In a raceme, the oldest flowers are borne...
s in summer and autumn. The flowers are 2.5 cm (1 in) long, purple or pinkish with bright yellow inside. Flower stems mostly originate from the leaf axils. The fruit is an orange ribbed capsule, oblong or oval in shape, 2 to 4 cm (0.8-1.6 in) long.
Flowers are germinated by the Forcipomyia
Forcipomyiinae is a subfamily of biting midges. In this subfamily, both anterior and posterior prolegs are present on larvae. Larvae are both terrestrial and aquatic, and feed primarily on algae and fungi. Some species in the genus Forcipomyia are important pollinators of cacao.- References :*...
midge. Cuttings are poor to good in striking, and growth is slow. However, regeneration from fresh seeds is not difficult. Seeds are viable for regeneration for around three months. Appropriate watering, weed removal, protection from snails, climbing support and fertilizing are recommended for young plants.
First described by Ferdinand von Mueller
Baron Sir Ferdinand Jacob Heinrich von Mueller, KCMG was a German-Australian physician, geographer, and most notably, a botanist.-Early life:...
in 1861 as Aristolochia praevenosa
, it was placed in its current genus by Parsons in 1996.