22 April 2007

Grape-like fruit

We went for a bush walk today.

These reddish/purple fruits jumped out at us screaming "Look at me!" or maybe "Eat me!". We didn't, but they do look temptingly like bunches of grapes don't they?

I've scoured my reference books and studied the internet but I can find no reference to these grape-like clusters of red fruits on any of our native plants. The vine in question isn't a lot of help either because it has no leaves near the forest floor (perhaps that's a cunning clue?). It is a very long woody climber and after searching up hill and down dale we did manage to find one leaf.

This is it. There are a few vines which have heart-shaped leaves, one in particular I got quite excited about because it sounded just right - until I found the fruits looked quite different to mine. My possibilities were Stephania japonica var. discolour. (I've located this vine elsewhere and the berries are more a scarlety red and clustered quite differently on the vine - so it's out).

Possibility 2 Sarcopetalum harveyanum. The leaves are the right shape but glossy - my vine didn't appear glossy, possibly because the leaf is old. Also the fruit was described as "a globular berry, somewhat flattened and pink in colour". Now if my grape-like fruits fit that description well I'm a monkey's uncle.
Perhaps my vine has had a particularly bountiful year? Unlikely. Possibility No 3 Legnephora moorei. This one sounded very promising indeed with its description of "Its leaves ae seldom borne near the ground and are usually high in the canopy of tall rainforest trees". Well that sounded pretty close but when I found a picture of the berries they were disappointingly blue and not very grape-like.

Maybe a brand new plant? At last the recognition that I deserve. The Christineii.

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