Sicyos australis Endl.

Star Cucumber

Prodr. Fl. Norfolk. 67 (1833) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Native

Threat status:Victoria: vulnerable (v)

Short-lived climbing or trailing herb with glabrescent or slightly hispid stems to several metres long. Leaves simple, ovate, cordate at base; lamina 4–7 cm long, 5–8 cm wide, 3–5-lobed to c. midway (rarely more deeply lobed), sparsely bristly on both surfaces, bristles denser along veins, margins toothed; petiole 1–10 cm long, ribbed with occasional longitudinal rows of retrorse hairs; tendrils 2–5-branched. Male inflorescence 10–20-flowered; peduncle 2.5–9 cm long; pedicels 3–5 mm long, glandular hairy; perianth c. 8 mm diam., greenish-white. Female inflorescences in 6–8-flowered heads, arising from base of peduncle of male inflorescence; peduncle 5–15 mm long; ovary with soft barbed spines and glandular hairs; perianth c. 3 mm diam., cream. Fruit ovoid or ellipsoid, 7–12 mm long, 4–7 mm diam., green with fine retrorsely barbed spines, clustered in a star-shaped head on a peduncle 2–3 cm long; seeds 5–7 mm long, ovate. Flowers Dec.–May.

EGL, EGU, GipP, HSF. Qld, NSW, Tas. (Bass Strait islands). New Zealand, south-west Pacific. Rare in Victoria where occurring chiefly along margins of warm-temperate rainforests and in sheltered riparian scrubs usually following disturbance (flood, canopy break, fire), eastwards from Glenaladale area.

Source: Jobson, P.C. (1996). Cucurbitaceae. In: Walsh, N.G.; Entwisle, T.J. (eds), Flora of Victoria Vol. 3, Dicotyledons Winteraceae to Myrtaceae. Inkata Press, Melbourne.
Updated by: Neville Walsh, 2021-01-20
Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Rosanae
order Cucurbitales
family Cucurbitaceae
genus Sicyos
Higher taxa


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

State distribution

Distribution map
New South Wales