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NZ Plants

Parsonsia heterophylla - kaiwhiria, New Zealand jasmine

family: Apocynaceae

Parsonsia heterophylla is a high climbing vine with sweet-scented blooms.  The highly variable form of  leaves on the protracted juvenile phase can make identification difficult to the inexperienced. Its narrow capsules with plumed seeds are a distinctive feature. A genus of vines with about 130 species  found in Tropical Asia, Australia and with three species endemic to New Zealand. Named after James Parsons (1705-1770) a London physician known for his writings on medicine and natural history.
An endemic species found in lowland and montane open forest throughout the country.

Vegetative characteristics

Reproductive characteristics

Plant form: vine

Arrangement of parts: symmetric


Flower size: 4-6 mm diam. X 7-10 mm long

Leaf form: undivided, ovate to linear to lobed

Sepals: 5

Leaf size: 5-7 cm

Petals: 5, white to yellow

Leaf arrangement: in opposite pairs

Sexuality: bisexual

Leaf attachment:

Stamens: 5

Leaf margin: smooth to sinuate

Ovary: above petals

Leaf surface: hairless

Fruit: dry pod