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NZ Plants

Ripogonum scandens - kareao, supplejack

Family: Ripogonaceae

Ripogonum scandens is a high-climbing woody forest vine with two types of stems. Those lower down in the shade twine around tree trunks and form narrow dark scale leaves at intervals but no green leaves. More exposed stems in the forest canopy are branched and form green leaves and do not twine around adjacent vegetation. A genus of six species found in Australia, New Zealand and New Guinea.
An endemic species present throughout the country.

Vegetative characteristics

Reproductive characteristics

Plant form: woody vine

Flower symmetry: symmetric


Flower size: 8-12 mm diam.

Leaf form: twining stems with scale leaves; canopy stems with ovate-lanceolate leaves

Tepals (sepals indistinguishable from petals): 6, green

Leaf size: 70-120 mm


Leaf arrangement: opposite pairs along the stem

Sexuality: bisexual

Leaf attachment:

Stamens: 6

Leaf margin: smooth

Ovary: above petals

Leaf surface: hairless

Fruit: fleshy