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Parsonsia heterophylla 11.JPG
Parsonsia heterophylla
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Gentianales
Family: Apocynaceae
Genus: Parsonsia

See text.

  • Chaetosus Benth.
  • Delphyodon K.Schum.
  • Gastranthus F.Muell.
  • Grisseea Bakh.f.
  • Helicandra Hook. & Arn.
  • Heligme Blume
  • Helyga Blume
  • Helygia Blume
  • Heylygia G.Don
  • Lyonsia R.Br.
  • Spirostemon Griff.

Parsonsia is a genus of woody vines of the dogbane family, Apocynaceae. Species occur throughout Indomalaya, Australasia and Melanesia.[1]


The leaves are opposite, the shape and size of juvenile leaves often bearing little resemblance to the adult leaves.[2] The latex may be clear and colourless, pale yellow or milky white.[2] The flowers are green, white, cream, yellow, orange, red, pink or brown, sometimes with contrasting markings. These are followed by elongated pod-like capsules, the two follicles eventually separating to reveal numerous seeds with long, silky hairs.[2]


The genus was named and formerly described in 1810 by botanist Robert Brown in his paper On the Asclepiadeae published in Memoirs of the Wernerian Natural History Society .[3] He named the genus in honour of James Parsons (1705–1770), an English physician and Fellow of the Royal Society.[4]

The generic name Parsonsia R.Br. (1810) is conserved against the earlier homonym Parsonsia P.Browne which was given to a genus in the family Lythraceae. The latter genus is now included in Cuphea.[5]

Parsonsia is closely related to Artia and Prestonia.[6]


Accepted species[1]

  1. Parsonsia affinis Baill. - New Caledonia
  2. Parsonsia alboflavescens (Dennst.) Mabb. - China, Taiwan, Japan, India, Sri Lanka, Indochina, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Australia.[3][7][8]
  3. Parsonsia apiculata D.J.Middleton
  4. Parsonsia aneityensis Guillaumin - Vanuatu
  5. Parsonsia apiculata (Bakh.f.) D.J.Middleton - Java, Bali
  6. Parsonsia appressa D.J.Middleton - Papua New Guinea[8]
  7. Parsonsia bartlensis J.B.Williams - Queensland[3]
  8. Parsonsia blakeana J.B.Williams - Queensland[3]
  9. Parsonsia brachiata Baillon ex Guillaumin - New Caledonia[9]
  10. Parsonsia brisbanensis J.B.Williams - Queensland[3]
  11. Parsonsia brownii (Britten) Pichon - SE Australia[3]
  12. Parsonsia buruensis (Teijsm. & Binn.) Boerl. - Maluku, Papua New Guinea[8]
  13. Parsonsia capsularis (Forster f.) R. Br. - New Zealand[10]
  14. Parsonsia catalpicarpa - New Caledonia[9]
  15. Parsonsia celebica (Oliv.) Sleesen - W Malaysia, Borneo, Sulawesi
  16. Parsonsia constricta D.J.Middleton - W New Guinea
  17. Parsonsia crebriflora Baill. - New Caledonia[9]
  18. Parsonsia curvisepala K. Schum. - Perak, Sulawesi, New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Philippines[8][11]
  19. Parsonsia densiflora D.J.Middleton - Papua New Guinea [8]
  20. Parsonsia densivestita C.T.White - Queensland[3]
  21. Parsonsia diaphanophleba F.Muell. - Western Australia [3]
  22. Parsonsia dorrigoensis J.B.Williams - New South Wales[3]
  23. Parsonsia edulis (G. Benn.) Guillaumin - New Caledonia[9]
  24. Parsonsia effusa S. Moore - New Caledonia[9]
  25. Parsonsia eucalyptophylla F.Muell. - E Australia[3]
  26. Parsonsia ferruginea J.B.Williams - Queensland [3]
  27. Parsonsia flavescens Merr. & L.M. Perry - New Guinea [8][12]
  28. Parsonsia flexilis Baill. - New Caledonia[9]
  29. Parsonsia flexuosa Baill. - New Caledonia[9]
  30. Parsonsia franchetii Baill. ex Guillaumin - New Caledonia, Loyalty Islands[9]
  31. Parsonsia fulva S.T.Blake - Queensland, NSW[3]
  32. Parsonsia goniostemon Hand.-Mazz. - Guangxi[7]
  33. Parsonsia grandiflora D.J.Middleton[3] - Bacan I in Maluku[13]
  34. Parsonsia grayana J.B.Williams - Queensland[3]
  35. Parsonsia hebetica Markgr. - Papua New Guinea [8]
  36. Parsonsia × heterocapsa Allan - New Zealand
  37. Parsonsia heterophylla A. Cunn. - New Zealand[10]
  38. Parsonsia howeana J.B.Williams - Lord Howe Island[3]
  39. Parsonsia inae Guillaumin - Vanuatu
  40. Parsonsia induplicata F.Muell. - Queensland, NSW[3]
  41. Parsonsia kimberleyensis J.B.Williams - Western Australia[3]
  42. Parsonsia kroombitensis J.B.Williams - Queensland[3]
  43. Parsonsia laevis - Fiji, Vanuatu[12][14]
  44. Parsonsia lanceolata R.Br. - Queensland, NSW[3]
  45. Parsonsia langiana F.Muell. - Queensland[3]
  46. Parsonsia larcomensis J.B.Williams - Queensland[3]
  47. Parsonsia largiflorens (F.Muell. ex Benth.) S.T.Blake - Queensland, NSW[3]
  48. Parsonsia lata Markgr.- Maluku, New Guinea, Solomon Is [5][8]
  49. Parsonsia latifolia (Benth.) S.T.Blake - Queensland[3]
  50. Parsonsia laxiflora Guillaumin - New Caledonia[9]
  51. Parsonsia leichhardtii F.Muell. - Queensland[3]
  52. Parsonsia lenticellata C.T.White - Queensland[3]
  53. Parsonsia lilacina F.Muell. - Queensland, NSW
  54. Parsonsia longiflora Guillaumin - New Caledonia[9]
  55. Parsonsia longiloba D.J.Middleton - New Ireland
  56. Parsonsia longipetiolata J.B.Williams - Queensland, NSW[3]
  57. Parsonsia macrophylla Pichon ex Guillaumin. - New Caledonia[9]
  58. Parsonsia marginata Markgr. - New Guinea
  59. Parsonsia novoguinensis D.J.Middleton - New Guinea [8]
  60. Parsonsia oligantha (K.Schum.) D.J.Middleton - New Guinea [8]
  61. Parsonsia pachycarpa Guillaumin - New Caledonia[9]
  62. Parsonsia paulforsteri J.B.Williams - Queensland[3]
  63. Parsonsia pedunculata Markgr. - Bismarck Archipelago[8]
  64. Parsonsia penangiana King & Gamble - Penang, Thailand
  65. Parsonsia philippinensis Merr. - Philippines, Java, Borneo, W Malaysia, Thailand
  66. Parsonsia plaesiophylla S.T.Blake - Queensland[3]
  67. Parsonsia populifolia Baill. - New Caledonia[9]
  68. Parsonsia praeruptis Heads & Lange - North I of New Zealand
  69. Parsonsia purpurascens J.B.Williams - New South Wales[3]
  70. Parsonsia rotata Maiden & Betche - Queensland, NSW[3]
  71. Parsonsia rubra Kaneh. & Hatus. J. - Maluku, New Guinea [8][12]
  72. Parsonsia sanguinea Markgr. - New Guinea[3][8][12]
  73. Parsonsia sankowskyana J.B.Williams - Queensland[3]
  74. Parsonsia scabra (Labill.) Markgr. - New Caledonia[9]
  75. Parsonsia schoddei D.J.Middleton - Papua New Guinea [8]
  76. Parsonsia smithii Markgr. - Vanua Levu in Fiji
  77. Parsonsia straminea (R.Br.) F.Muell. - Queensland, NSW[3]
  78. Parsonsia sundensis D.J.Middleton[3] - East Timor[15]
  79. Parsonsia tenuiflora D.J.Middleton[3] - W New Guinea
  80. Parsonsia tenuis S.T.Blake - Queensland, NSW[3]
  81. Parsonsia terminaliifolia Guillaumin - New Caledonia[9]
  82. Parsonsia vaccinoides Markgr. - W New Guinea [8]
  83. Parsonsia velutina R.Br. - Timor, Maluku, Australia, New Guinea[3][8]
  84. Parsonsia ventricosa F.Muell. - Queensland, NSW[3]
  85. Parsonsia warenensis Kanehira & Hatusima - Papua New Guinea [8]
  86. Parsonsia wildensis J.B.Williams - Queensland[3]
  87. Parsonsia wongabelensis J.B.Williams- Queensland[3]
formerly included[1]
  1. Parsonsia balansae Baill. = Artia balansae (Baill.) Pichon ex Guillaumin
  2. Parsonsia barbata Blume = Parameria laevigata (Juss.) Moldenke
  3. Parsonsia brachycarpa Baill. = Artia brachycarpa (Baill.) Boiteau
  4. Parsonsia bracteata Hook. & Arn. = Mandevilla pentlandiana (DC.) Woodson
  5. Parsonsia corymbosa (Jacq.) R.Br. ex Steud. = Pinochia corymbosa (Jacq.) M.E.Endress & B.F.Hansen
  6. Parsonsia diversifolia (Warb.) Markgr. = Lyonsia diversifolia Warb.
  7. Parsonsia floribunda (Sw.) R.Br. ex Steud. = Pinochia floribunda (Sw.) M.E.Endress & B.F.Hansen
  8. Parsonsia francii Guillaumin = Artia francii (Guillaumin) Pichon
  9. Parsonsia galeottiana Baill. = Thenardia galeottiana Baill.
  10. Parsonsia javanica Blume 1826 not (Blume) K. Schum 1895 = Urceola javanica (Blume) Boerl.
  11. Parsonsia leptocarpa Hook. & Arn. = Forsteronia leptocarpa (Hook. & Arn.) A.DC.
  12. Parsonsia lifuana Baill. = Artia lifuana (Baill.) Pichon ex Guillaumin
  13. Parsonsia myrtifolia (Poir.) Roem. & Schult. = Landolphia myrtifolia (Poir.) Markgr.
  14. Parsonsia ovata Wall. ex G.Don = Pottsia laxiflora (Blume) Kuntze
  15. Parsonsia spicata (Jacq.) R.Br. ex Steud. = Forsteronia spicata (Jacq.) G.Mey.


A species from New Zealand, Parsonsia variablis (Variable-leaved Parsonsia), was introduced into cultivation in England in 1847 as a greenhouse plant and was noted to have a sweet scent, however the flowers were regarded as "not very showy".[16] This species is thought to be a form of Parsonsia heterophylla.[10]


  1. ^ a b c d "World Checklist of Selected Plant Families". Retrieved May 18, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c "Genus Parsonsia". PlantNET - New South Wales Flora Online. Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust, Sydney Australia. Retrieved 2009-05-21. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an "Parsonsia". Australian Plant Name Index (APNI), IBIS database. Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research, Australian Government, Canberra. Retrieved 2009-05-19. 
  4. ^ Bennett, John J. (1850). The Miscellaneous Botanical Works of Robert Brown: Vol.II. Retrieved 2009-05-21. 
  5. ^ a b "Genus: Parsonsia P. Browne". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Beltsville Area. Retrieved 2009-05-21.  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "GRIN" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  6. ^ Livshultz, T., D. J. Middleton, M. E. Endress, and J. K. Williams.(2007) Phylogeny of Apocynoideae and the APSA Clade (Apocynaceae S.l.). Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden 94, no. 2: 324–59.
  7. ^ a b "Parsonsia". Flora of China. Retrieved 2009-05-19. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q Conn, Barry J. "Census of Vascular Plants of Papua New Guinea". Plants of Papua New Guinea. Papua New Guinea National Herbarium and the National Herbarium of New South Wales #. Retrieved 2009-05-19. 
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o "Genre Parsonsia R.Br.". Endémía - Faune & Flore de Nouvelle-Calédonie. Retrieved 2009-05-19. 
  10. ^ a b c "PARSONSIA R. Br., 1809". Retrieved 2009-05-19. 
  11. ^ "Parsonsia curvisepala". Index of Botanical Specimens. Harvard University Herbaria. Retrieved 2009-05-19. 
  12. ^ a b c d "Indonesian Biodiversity Information System (IBIS) online". Research Center for Biology, Indonesian Institute of Sciences. Retrieved 2009-05-19. 
  13. ^ "Parsonsia grandiflora D.J. Middleton". Tropicos. Missouri Botanical Gardens. Retrieved 2009-05-31. 
  14. ^ "Parsonsia laevis". Index of Botanical Specimens. Harvard University Herbaria. Retrieved 2009-05-19. 
  15. ^ "Parsonsia curvisepala". Index of Botanical Specimens. Harvard University Herbaria. Retrieved 2009-05-31. 
  16. ^ Moore, Thomas; William P. Ayres (1850). Gardeners' magazine of botany, horticulture, floriculture, and natural science. William S. Orr and Co. 1: 120.  Missing or empty |title= (help)