Billardiera scandens Sm.

Common Apple-berry

Spec. Bot. New Holland 1: t. 1 (1793) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Native

Threat status:Victoria: rare (r)

Ascending shrub, sometimes with stems climbing, young stems densely villous. Leaves sessile, oblong to narrowly elliptic, thickish, 18–80 mm long, 3–18 mm wide, pubescent; margins recurved, often undulate. Flowers solitary, or in pairs or 3s forming terminal cymes; pedicels stout, 5–12 mm long, not or hardly extending in fruit, erect or pendent; sepals lanceolate, 4–9 mm long, sparsely pilose to villous; corolla glabrous, 12–23 mm long, obconical, with acute to acuminate lobes free to the base, slightly spreading most of their length, yellowish, tinged pink with age; stamens and style usually c. two-thirds as long as corolla; ovary villous. Berry plump, c. 1–3 cm long, densely villous, green or yellowish; seeds broadly cylindric, flattened or plano-convex, 2–3 mm long.  Flowers Nov.–Feb.

CVU, EGL, GipP, HNF, HSF, NIS, VAlp, VRiv, VVP, WPro. Apparently uncommon in Victoria, occurring chiefly in dry open-forests and woodlands in the north-east (Beechworth, Whitfield etc.), with isolated occurrences near Mt Macedon, Eltham-Hurstbridge area, Eildon and Orbost.

The distinction between this species and Billardiera mutabilis can be challenging, and the two taxa may be better recognised at infraspecific rank. In Victoria, B. scandens is distinguished by its villous fruits, short, stout pedicels that tend to remain somewhat erect, shrubbier habit and recurved leaf margins. However, intermediates with moderately hairy fruits and stout, often erect pedicels c. 15 mm long can be found where the two co-occur (e.g. Beechworth, Snowy River and Lake Hume). See note on application of names under B. mutabilis.

Source: Walsh, N.G.; Albrecht, D.E. (1996). Pittosporaceae. In: Walsh, N.G.; Entwisle, T.J. (eds), Flora of Victoria Vol. 3, Dicotyledons Winteraceae to Myrtaceae. Inkata Press, Melbourne.
Updated by: Neville Walsh, 2019-08-06

Cayzer, L.W.; Crisp, M.D. & Telford, I.R.H. (2004). Cladistic analysis and revision of Billardiera (Pittosporaceae), Australian Systematic Botany 17(1): 83-125.

Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Asteranae
order Apiales
genus Billardiera
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <>. Find Billardiera scandens in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Billardiera scandens in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Victorian Volcanic Plain present native
Victorian Riverina present native
Gippsland Plain present native
Central Victorian Uplands present native
Northern Inland Slopes present native
East Gippsland Lowlands present native
Wilsons Promontory present native
Highlands-Southern Fall present native
Highlands-Northern Fall present native
Victorian Alps present native

State distribution

Distribution map
South Australia
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory