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Electronic Flora of South Australia species Fact Sheet

Family: Polygalaceae
Comesperma volubile

Citation: Labill., Nov. Holl. Pl. Sp. 2:24 (1806).

Synonymy: Bredemeyera volubilis (Labill.) Chodat ex Ewart, Census Vic. Pl. 40 (1923); C. ciliatum sensu J. Black Fl. S. Aust. 504 (1948), non Steetz. , Bredemeyera ciliata

Common name: Love creeper.

Slender sparsely leaved or leafless climbing or creeping perennial; stems twining, irregularly ridged or angled, with minute colourless tubercles usually on the ridges only, and occasional white tubercles between the ridges or rarely dense and pronounced, hairs simple, appressed, sparsely scattered on the stem becoming more dense at nodes or stems glabrous with hairs at the nodes, rarely stem all glabrous or glaucous with hairs at the nodes; leaves alternate 1.5-8 cm long, 8-25 mm wide, narrowly oblong or ovate, rarely pubescent with hairs on the mid-vein of the lower surface and margins, young leaves sometimes pubescent, margins loosely recurved, apex acute to obtuse, petiole swollen near the base.

Inflorescences axillary racemes; peduncles sometimes with scattered hairs when stems glabrous; flowers blue, 4.5-7 mm long; pedicel 2-4 mm long, expanding below the flower, all glabrous or sometimes glabrous only in the upper half, rarely all pubescent but hairs denser toward the base or sparse hairs only at the very base; bracts subtending pedicels rare, ciliate, c. 0.8 mm long; outer sepals mostly free, c. 2 mm long, ovate to widely ovate, 2 lower overlapping; margin sparsely ciliate or with cilia only at the apex, occasionally entire or minutely and irregularly serrulate or densely ciliate; apex rounded to retuse; wing sepals c. 6.5 mm long, broadly ovate, contracting abruptly to a claw c. 1.2 mm long and 1.2 mm wide; lateral petals c. 5.5 mm long, spathulate to oblong, joined to the keel for about half their length, simple hairs in the lower half on the outside and inside of free margins and at the junction with the keel; keel petals c. 5 mm long, with 2 oblong lateral lobes; vestigial petals on either side of the keel base, joined to outside of the tube above the base; stamens free for the upper third to half of their length; ovary glabrous; style flattened, wider in the middle, tapering to the 2-lobed stigma.

Fruit 13-21 mm long, 3-4 mm wide, obovate-cuneate, tapering to a long attenuate base; seeds c. 4.5 mm long, narrowly elliptic, green, rugose; coma arising from all over the seed surface, especially the sides and base.

image of FSA2_Comesperma_vol.jpg Comesperma volubile stems, flower and seed.
Image source: fig 417c in Jessop J.P. & Toelken H.R. (Ed.) 1986. Flora of South Australia (4th edn).

Published illustration: Cochrane et al. (1968) Flowers and plants of Victoria, fig. 370.

Distribution:  S.Aust.: NU, EP, NL, MU, YP, SL, KI, SE.   W.Aust.; Qld; N.S.W.; Vic.; Tas.

Conservation status: native

Flowering time: Aug. — Feb.

SA Distribution Map based
on current data relating to
specimens held in the
State Herbarium of South Australia

Biology: No text

Taxonomic notes: The S.Aust. specimens here described as C. volubile, do not fall within the strict circumscription of the species. However, until a detailed Australia-wide study of the genus is undertaken this is the most convenient place for them. See Thompson (1978), Flora of N. S. W. 112, for further discussion.

Author: Not yet available

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