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Flora of Australia Online

*Tinospora crispa (L.) Hook.f. & Thomson, Fl. Indica 1: 183 (1855); epithet from the Latin crispus (crisped or twisted) in reference to the stem.

Menispermum crispum L., Sp. Pl. 2nd edn, 2: 1468 (1763). T: illustration of Funis felleus , G.E.Rumphius, Herb. Amboin. 5: t. 44, fig. 1 (1747).

Woody climber to c. 15 m high, glabrous, flowering when leafless; stems becoming prominently tuberculate, containing very bitter sap, producing very long, filiform, aerial roots. Leaves broadly ovate to orbicular, cordate at base, usually long-acuminate; hollow domatia absent from axils of basal nerves; lamina 7–14 cm long. Inflorescence raceme-like on old stems; male 9–20 cm long; female shorter; pedicels 2–4 mm long. Sepals green, the largest 3–4 mm long. Petals 3, sometimes 1–3 additional reduced petals present. Drupe orange; endocarp whitish, ellipsoidal, 11–13 mm long. Fig. 33A–C.

Christmas Is.; probably introduced. SE Asia to central Malesia and the Philippines. Climbing on trees and over rocks on the shore-terraces. 

Ch.Is.: Smiths Point, D.A.Powell 263F (K); Smiths Point, D.A.Powell 407A (K).

Widely cultivated and used medicinally in SE Asia; probably introduced to Christmas Is. by immigrant workers. Sometimes grows with T. baenzigeri .


Data derived from Flora of Australia volume 50 (1993), a product of ABRS, ©Commonwealth of Australia