Eustrephus latifolius

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Eustrephus latifoliusFamily: Asparagaceae
Genus: Eustrephus
Common names: Wombat berry
ALA reference

In my April notes I included a photo of this plant carrying its bright orange berries. The plants are scattered through the bushland and are starting to flower now. The flower petals are fringed and it carries a large mass of pollen. I saw a medium sized native solitary bee busily collecting a heavy load of pollen from these flowers but it flew away before I could get its photo. The plant has a twining growth habit climbing to several metres up small trees and shrubs. (November 2007)

Wombat berry is a reasonably vigorous twining plant but may also occur as a scrambling ground cover. The leaves are lance-shaped to about 80 mm long and have conspicuous longitudinal veins. Flowers are about 15 mm diameter and occur in spring in the upper leaf axils. They are usually white or pale pink with very hairy petals. The flowers are followed by orange berries containing a number of shiny, black seeds. The fruits usually remain on the plant for many months. The leaves and growth habit are superficially similar to the Scrambling lily (Geitonoplesium cymosum) but can easily be differentiated by the raised ridges on the leaves and the yellow fruit (The Scrambling lily has black fruit). (April 2007)