This is a relatively unspectacular vine that can often go unnoticed in the understorey of the rainforest. It rarely climbs and is a small scrambling vine with stiff leaves. The young leaves are the only known food plant of the larvae of the endangered Pink Underwing Moth, also called the Imperial Fruit-piercing Moth (Phyllodes imperialis). These large and colourful moths can have a wingspan up to 17cm.The presence of the vine in these old growth rainforest patches is believed to provide shade that the moths require in order to breed. Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve is one of only a few confirmed breeding habitats for this moth.
(Illustrations by Robyn Graham and Jane Thompson)
More precious plants . . .