Friday, January 20, 2012

Embelia Vine

Embelia australiana

Plant identification keys often ask us whether the plant that we’re trying to identify has “translucent oil dots”.

This little plant most certainly does!

It’s the dottiest plant I’ve ever seen, as I discovered when I held a leaf up to the light.
(Double click for a good look at those lovely dots.)
This plant is growing in dry rainforest on stony black soil, on the eastern edge of the Great Dividing Range north of Toowoomba. Potentially a tall, slender, woody climber, this is a plant that can grow as a shrub if it finds nothing to climb on.
An attractive plant with its pale-veined leaves, it is characterised by touches of bright red The clusters of pale greenish-brown flowers have bright red calyces The autumn fruits are bright red, and so are the new leaves.
As a garden plant, it would have the added virtue of bringing fruit-eating birds to the garden.

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