Pleogyne australis (MENISPERMACEAE); Pleogyne, wiry grape

Pleogyne australis
Pleogyne australis, foliage - K. Querengasser
Tall, deciduous climber with woody stems, found mostly in coastal rainforests of eastern Queensland, but it has apparently been collected once from northern WA.

Leaves simple, alternate, ovate to lance-shaped with a pointed tip, to 11cm by 5cm; leathery but thin-textured. Blade pale to mid green, sometimes greyish green; hairy on both sides, especially on young shoots. Net veins prominent. Juvenile leaves toothed or lobed.

Flowers greenish and hairy, to about 5mm in length in racemes to 8cm long; unisexual, with 6 petals and 6 sepals. Appear Aug to Sept.

Fruit kidney-shaped, reddish and finely hairy, ripening to black. Ripe Aug to Nov.

Not well known in cultivation, but appreciates plenty of sun. Will tolerate shade, but not poor drainage.

Propagate from fresh seed; cuttings are also worth trying.