Callerya megasperma (FABACEAE) Native Wisteria

Plants to Plant

Formerly Millettia megasperma. Tall, woody, robust, bushy climber (vine) with woody stems. Climbs via twining stems with additional support from large pinnate leaves. Will ascend into the rainforest canopy, found in rainforest, rainforest margins and wet sclerophyll forest from north-east NSW to South-East Queensland. Purplish bark on established plants is flaky or papery. Young growth can be hairy. Leaves alternate on stems, made up of 7-9 leaflets featuring a terminal leaflet. Leaf stalks swollen at base. The leaflets may be slightly hairy below, each drawn out to a long, narrow, blunt point at the apex. Perfumed mauve pea flowers on terminal panicles July-October. Large thick velvety pods from April to May contain several red-very large brown seeds. The large seed could be sown one each to a 10 cm pot, or directly seeded. The similar Callerya australis has smaller leaves and leaflets, and shorter, narrower seed pods that are not velvety like C. megasperma.

This is a Fabaceae (Pea) with similarities to Black Bean and Blood Vine and the introduced Pongamia. The introduced Wisteria has similar flowers but is deciduous, Native Wisteria being an evergreen.

Photo: Robert Whyte