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Alan M Gray 2

Woody climbers (Tas.) or trees, shrubs or rarely herbs. Leaves exstipulate, opposite or rarely alternate, usually pinnately compound; terminal leaflet sometimes forming a tendril (not in Tas.). Inflorescence usually a panicle or sometimes flowers solitary in axils. Flowers often showy, often bracteate, bisexual, zygomorphic; receptacle hypogynous. Calyx tubular or campanulate, 5-lobed. Corolla campanulate or funnel-shaped, 5-lobed, sometimes 2-lipped. Stamens epipetalous, typically 4 and didynamous with a staminode in place of a fifth posterior stamen; anthers bilobed, the lobes widely divergent, dehiscing longitudinally. Disc usually present, nectar-secreting. Carpels 2; ovary superior, typically bilocular with axile placentation or sometimes unilocular with 2 parietal placentae; ovules numerous; style filiform with 2 short stigmatic lobes. Fruit a capsule, often elongated, opening by 2 valves, or fruit fleshy and indehiscent (not in Tas.). Seeds numerous, usually flattened and winged, without endosperm.

A family of about 120 genera and 800 species found mainly in tropical areas, especially South America. 10 genera and 17 species in Australia. Bignoniaceae are placed in the Lamiales. The family contains a number of very showy plants cultivated for their considerable ornamental value and includes such genera as Bignonia L., Campsis Lour. (Trumpet Creeper), Jacaranda Juss., Tecomaria (Endl.) Spach (Cape Honeysuckle) and Pandorea (Endl.) Spach (Wonga Vine).

External resources: accepted names with synonymy & distribution in Australia (APC); author & publication abbreviations (IPNI); mapping (AVH, NVA); nomenclature (APNI, IPNI).


Pandorea (Endl.) Spach, Hist. Nat. Veg. (Spach) 9: 136 (1840).

Synonymy: Tecoma Juss. section Pandorea Endl., Gen. Pl. [Endlicher] 711 (1839).

Woody climbers, rarely shrubs. Leaves imparipinnate; leaflets sessile; tendrils absent. Inflorescence upper axillary or terminal, a thyrse or reduced to a raceme; flowers pedicellate. Calyx campanulate or cup-like, shallowly lobed. Corolla tubular, often slightly curved, 2 lipped, with 2 posterior and 3 anterior lobes, lobes imbricate. Stamens 4, in 2 pairs of unequal length, usually included in corolla tube. Fruit a loculicidal capsule, stipitate, beaked. Seeds many, flat, circular, surrounded by a thin, hyaline wing.

A genus of 6 species, extending from Malesia to New Caledonia with 4 in Australia.

1 Pandorea pandorana (Andrews) Steenis, Bull. Jard. Bot. Buitenzorg ser. 3 10: 198 (1928)

Wonga Vine

Thumbnail map of TasmaniaHamburger menu graphic to signify link to record data

Bignonia pandorana Andrews, Bot. Repos. 2: t. 86 (1800); Tecoma pandorana (Andrews) Skeels, U.S.D.A. Bur. Pl. Industr. Bull. 282: 62 (1913); T. australis R.Br. Prodr. Fl. Nov. Holland 471 (1810), nom. illeg.

Illustrations: Morley & Toelken (Eds), Flowering Plants in Australia 273, fig. 165c-f (1983); Quirico, Fl. New South Wales 3: 539 (1992); Elliot & Jones, Encyclopaedia of Australian Plants 7: 160 (1997); Jeanes, Fl. Victoria 4: 545 fig. 105g; pl. 12 (1999); Corrick & Fuhrer, Wildflowers of Victoria 44 (2000); Whiting et al., Tasmania’s Natural Flora 77 (2004).

Shrub with twining branchlets, 2–6 m tall, glabrous. Leaves opposite, (1–)5–7(–9)-imparipinnate, very variable in shape and size, 5–20 cm long; petiole channelled above and with distinctive, scattered domatia on the adaxial surface; rachis channelled above; leaflets ovate-acuminate or ovate-lanceolate, sometimes narrow-linear, 2–8 cm long, entire or coarsely toothed, adaxial surface glossy, abaxial surface with scattered domatia. Inflorescence a loose terminal panicle, leafy at base. Calyx 2–3 mm long. Corolla cream or white, sometimes streaked with red in the throat and often with crimson or purple spots at the base of the anterior lobes, funnel-shaped, curved, 15–20 mm long, lobes broad and < 1/3 as long as tube, throat bearded inside below the anterior lobes. Capsule c. 4–10 cm long, valves coriaceous, boat-shaped. Seeds flat, surrounded by transparent hyaline wing, c. 4–10 mm diam. Flowering & fruiting Aug.–Mar.

Tas. (FUR); also NT, SA, Qld, NSW, Vic. Localised and rare on Flinders Island where recorded from two localities. Found in gullies and wet sclerophyll forest. Listed as Rare under the Tasmanian Threatened Species Protection Act 1995. Numerous horticultural varieties and cultivars exist and are widely planted in Tasmanian gardens.


ALA (Atlas of Living Australia) http://www.ala.org.au/

APC (Australian Plant Census) https://biodiversity.org.au/nsl/services/apc

APNI (Australian Plant Name Index) https://biodiversity.org.au/nsl/services/apni

AVH (Australia’s Virtual Herbarium) (Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria) http://avh.chah.org.au/

IPNI (International Plant Name Index) http://www.ipni.org

NVA (Natural Values Atlas) (Department of Primary Industries and Water: Hobart) https://www.naturalvaluesatlas.tas.gov.au/

NOTE: Web addresses can and do change: a list of current web addresses is maintained in the web version of this treatment on the Flora of Tasmania Online website at https://flora.tmag.tas.gov.au/

  1. This work can be cited as: Gray AM (2009). Bignoniaceae, version 2019:1. In MF de Salas (Ed.) Flora of Tasmania Online. 2 pp. (Tasmanian Herbarium, Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery: Hobart). https://flora.tmag.tas.gov.au/vascular-families/bignoniaceae/ (accessed ).  ↩︎

  2. Tasmanian Herbarium, Tasmanian Museum & Art Gallery, PO Box 5058, UTAS LPO, Sandy Bay, TAS 7005, Australia.  ↩︎