SassafrasBirdsnest ferns and Syzygium floribundum

Botanical name            Ripogonum discolor      

A common name          Prickly Supplejack


Young plant


Ripogonum discolorThis is why Ripogonum discolor gets the common name Prickly Supplejack, and one of the reasons why I wear leather gloves, gum boots, a wire brimmed hat and microfibre clothing.  Most the images I've seen of Prickly Supplejack seem to miss the best weaponry, only showing the spines on the leaf bearing vines which are far less frequent and more innocuous.  Three of those shoots can be seen coming off these 2 older vines.  As the plant ages the older vines become less nasty.  While you can hold these vines in your hand with very low likely hood of drawing blood it is not a good idea  to brush past them with bare flesh.  No point in giving Leeches even more incentive.

Ripogonum discolor

Another view of leaves, no spines here.

Ripogonum discolor fruitSome maturing fruit.  The 2 dead horizontal shoots behind the prickly vertical shoot are probably from a Rubus rosifolius, a more common inhabitant of pathway edges, their spines are not quite so nasty though they will draw blood and they can be found all over the vine, stems and leaves, just like their introduced Blackberry relatives, only the locals are better.  Three live leaves, part of the compound leaf from the Rubus are visible at the bottom of the photo.

Reasonably mature