Geitonoplesium cymosum (PHILESIACEAE) Scrambling Lily

Plants to Plant

An evergreen perennial climber (vine) growing to 4 m with striated green stems, leaves to 8 cm long, dull green, stiff, with a raised central vein. Has a tuberous rootstock which persists in tough times. It can grow in semi-shade or in the open. It requires moist soil, though once established can be drought tolerant. When in the open can become quite dense, rather like a groundcover. Has been used successfully as a hedging plant if allowed to twine over supports
Photo: Derek Boddington

Flowers and foliage

Sweetly scented flowers in spring are white to purplish green with yellow anthers. A good replacement plant for weedy vines like Cat’s Claw Creeper, though will not be as aggressive and will need maintenance if weeds are likely to resprout. The young shoots, cooked, are edible according to Tim Low in Wild Food Plants of Australia 1989. BRAIN reports the fruit pulp is edible and attractive to birds. As always, caution is advised when eating native plants. Common and abundant throughout the catchment in remnant dry rainforest.

Photo: Robert Whyte


The fruit is dark green, then black, distinguishing it from the larger orange fruit of the similar Wombat Berry. The inset is about three times actual size.
Photo: Robert Whyte