Plant of the Month
June 2022

POTM

Aphanopetalum clematideum (Harv.) Domin

Image

Aphanopetalum clematideum is a scrambling shrub or twining vine that can reach a few metres in height when growing naturally up a tree or other support. The plant produces sprays of tiny, star-like flowers from June to October. The flowers are essentially without petals but have four large greenish-white sepals, which look like petals and stay on the plant until fruiting is finished, creating a long-lasting display.

The genus Aphanopetalum has had an interesting taxonomic history, having been originally placed in the plant order Oxilidales in the family Cunoniaceae. However, later morphological and genetic studies have it now placed in the plant order Saxifragales, in its own family Aphanopetalaceae. The family is endemic to Australia with two species, one on the eastern seaboard Aphanopetalum resinosum, and A. clematideum in the mid-west region of Western Australia.

Photo: R. Davis

Find out more about Aphanopetalum clematideum (Harv.) Domin