Plants of
South Australia
Marsdenia australis
Asclepiadaceae
Bush Banana
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Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion.
Least concern
Near threatened
Rare
Vulnerable
Endangered
Critically endangered
Extinct
Data deficient
Adelaide
Arkaroola
Ceduna
Coober Pedy
Hawker
Innamincka
Marla
Marree
Mount Gambier
Oodnadatta
Renmark
Wudinna
Keith
Yunta
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Botanical art

Kath Alcock paintings: 3.

Etymology

Marsdenia named after William Marsden (1754-1836), an Irish-born British traveller, plant collector and Secretary of the Admiralty. Australis from Latin meaning southern; referring to species distribution in Australia.

Distribution and status

Found scattered in the northern part of South Australia. Also found in all mainland states. Native. Common in South Australia. Rare in Victoria. Common in the other states.
Herbarium regions: North Western, Lake Eyre, Nullarbor, Gairdner-Torrens, Flinders Ranges, Eastern, Eyre Peninsula, Murray
NRM regions: Alinytjara Wilurara, Eyre Peninsula, South Australian Arid Lands, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Perennial climbing herb with twining stems containing a milky sap. Leaves linear to 100 mm long and 30 mm wide. Flowers greenish-yellow to 75 mm long and occur in branched clusters from the leaf axils in spring to summer. The flowers are followed by a yellow-brown seeds attached to tightly packed feathery hairs. Fruits are large green pear-shaped fruit, turning pale brown and splitting when matured and containing numerous seeds. Seeds are yellow ovoid seed to 7 mm long and 4 mm wide, with long dense pappus.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between December and April. Collect fruits that are maturing, fat, hard, turning pale brown and contain fluffy seeds. Place the fruit in a tray and leave to dry for at least two weeks until it split. Then shake the fruits to release the seeds. No further cleaning is required. Store the seeds with a desiccant such as dried silica beads or dry rice, in an air tight container in a cool and dry place.

Seeds stored:
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LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
Number
of plants
Date
collected
Collection number
Collection location
Date
stored
% ViabilityStorage
temperature
BGA4,200 (100.74 g)1225-Sep-2014DJD3052
North Western
1-Jan-201685%-18°C
Location: BGA — the seeds are stored at the Adelaide Botanic Gardens, MSB — the seeds are stored at the Millennium Seed Bank, Kew, England.
Number of plants: This is the number of plants from which the seeds were collected.
Collection location: The Herbarium of South Australia's region name.
% Viability: Percentage of filled healthy seeds determined by a cut test or x-ray.
Germination table:
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