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Geitonoplesium cymosum (PHILESIACEAE) Scrambling Lily

Foliage and flowers

Scrambling Lily
Photo: Derek Boddington

An evergreen perennial climber (vine) growing to 4m with striate green stems, leaves to 8cm long, dull green, stiff, with a raised central vein. Has a tuberous rootstock which persists in tough times.

It can grow in semi-shade or in the open. It requires moist soil, though once established can be drought tolerant. When in the open can become quite dense, rather like a groundcover. Has been used successfully as a hedging plant if allowed to twine over supports.

Flowers and foliage


Scrambling Lily
Photo: Robert Whyte

Sweetly scented flowers in Spring are white to purplish green with yellow anthers. A good replacement plant for weedy vines like cats claw, though will not be as aggressive and will need maintenance if weeds are likely to resprout. It has been reported that the young shoots, cooked, are edible. (Tim Low: Wild Food Plants of Australia 1989). BRAIN reports the fruit pulp is edible and attractive to birds. As always, caution is advised when eating native plants.

Common and abundant throughout the catchment in remnant dry rainforest.

Fruit


Scrambling Lily
Photo: Robert Whyte

The fruit is dark green, then black, distinguishing it from the larger orange fruit of the similar Wombat Berry. The inset is about thre times actual size.