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Flower. Copyright CSIRO

Leaves, flower and fruit. Copyright CSIRO

Leaves and fruit. Copyright G. Sankowsky

Scale bar 10mm. Copyright CSIRO

Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. Copyright CSIRO

10th leaf stage. Copyright CSIRO

Cynanchum carnosum



Scientific Name

Cynanchum carnosum (R.Br.) Schltr.

Schlechter, F.R.R. (1904) Fragmenta Florae Philippinae : 120.

Common name

Milkpod, Mangrove; Mangrove Milkpod


A slender vine not exceeding a stem diameter of 2 cm.


Petioles produce a clear exudate. Leaf blades leathery, about 1.7-6.5 x 1-3.5 cm, petioles about 0.8-1.4 cm long. Colleters absent.



Fruits soft, not woody, about 75-90 x 10-12 mm, +/- semi-orbicular in transverse section. Seeds about 5-7 x 4 mm, plumes of hairs about 25 mm long. Cotyledons +/- orbicular, about 2.5 mm long, radicle about 1 mm long.


Cotyledons elliptic, about 12-13 x 6 mm, venation not obvious but more prominent below. First pair of leaves oblong, apex obtuse, slightly pointed, base +/- attenuate. Lower surface of the first leaves with a few hairs on the midrib bear the base. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade thick and soft textured, narrowly oblong, apex contracted and acute, base cuneate to obtuse. Venation inconspicuous on the upper surface, more obvious on the lower surface. Stems twining. Exudate copious. Seed germination time 20 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in WA, NT, CYP, NEQ, CEQ and southwards to north-eastern New South Wales. Altitudinal range very small, being +/- confined to the littoral zone just behind the mangroves. Also occurs in New Guinea and other parts of Malesia.

Natural History & Notes

Slender Vine



Ischnostemma carnosum (R.Br.) Merr. & Rolfe, Philippine Journal of Science 3(3) : 121(1908). Vincetoxicum carnosum (R.Br.) Benth., Flora Australiensis 4: 331(1868). Oxystelma carnosum R.Br., Prodromus Florae Novae Hollandiae : 462(1810), Type: Island a [Sweers Island, Gulf of Carpentaria, Qld] Nov. 1802, R. Brown.

RFK Code