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Manual of the New Zealand Flora.

1. Rhipogonum, Forst

1. Rhipogonum, Forst.

Tall climbing shrubs, much branched above. Leaves opposite or nearly so, 3–5-nerved with transverse reticulated veins between; petioles without tendrils. Flowers hermaphrodite, small, shortly pedicelled, racemose; racemes axillary or terminal, simple or compound, sometimes forming a terminal panicle. Perianth deci-duous; segments 6, all equal or the outer ones shorter. Stamens 6, hypogynous; filaments very short, flattened; anthers erect, longer or shorter than the perianth. Ovary superior, ses-sile, 3-celled; style short, stout; stigmas 3, thick, recurved; ovules solitary or gemmate in each cell. Fruit a globose berry, usually 1-seeded by abortion, rarely 2–3-seeded. Seeds globose; testa thin, appressed; embryo small, remote from the hilum.

In addition to the single species found in New Zealand, there are four others in Australia.

1.R. scandens, Forst. Char. Gen. 50.— A tall glabrous climber. Stems slender, knotted at the joints, often forming interwoven masses difficult to penetrate. Leaves opposite or very rarely alternate, petiolate, 3–5 in. long, narrow ovate-oblong to oblong-lanceolate, acute or acuminate, coriaceous, 3- or 5-nerved, the intermediate veinlets copiously reticulated. Racemes axillary, simple or branched, 3–6 in. long, the upper ones sometimes forming a terminal panicle. Flowers small, greenish, about ⅓ in. diam.; pedicels slender, spreading. Perianth-segments very small, oblong-lanceolate, acute. Stamens 6, much longer than the perianth; fila-ments short, thick; anthers very large, linear-lanceolate. Ovary ovoid-globose; ovules geminate in each cell; style short, thick; stigma large, obsoletely 3-lobed. Berry globose, ⅓ in. diam., bright-red.—A. Bich. Fl. Nouv. Zel. i. 151; Raoul, Choix, 41; Hook. f. Fl. Nov. Zel. i. 253; Handb. N.Z. Fl. 281; Benth. in Hook. Ic. Plant, t. 1395. E. parviflorum, R. Br. Prodr. 293; A. Cunn. Precur. n. 305. Similax Eipogonum, Forst. Prodr. n. 372.

North and South Islands, Stewart Island, Chatham Islands: Low-land forests from the North Cape southwards, abundant. Sea-level to 2000 ft. Supplejack; Kareao; Pirita. November–December.

A familiar plant to all bushmen, especially in the northern part of the colony. In the South Island it is mainly found near the coasts. The long, tough, and elastic stems have been used, for baskets, hurdles, &c.; and an extract from the root has been employed in the place of sarsaparilla.

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