Homalocladium platycladum (F.J.Muell.) L.H.Bailey

Centipede Plant

Shrub to 2 m or so tall with branches and stems forming flattened, green, striated rectangular segments mostly 1-1.5 cm wide. Leaves lanceolate, to 5 cm or more long, growing at the joints and shed before flowering. Flowers in small stalkless clusters, alternating at the joints, pale green. Perianth segments 5, joined at the base and fleshy in fruit. Stamens 8. Stigmas 3; spring. Fruit enclosed by purplish red envelope, containing 3-angled nut. [Muehlenbeckia platyclada (F.J.Muell.) Meissn.]

Solomon Islands

Occasionally grown for the bizarre flattened photosynthesising stems.

Will grow outside in Victoria but in the tropics cylindrical stems develop and the plant is much larger.


Remarkable flattened striated segmented stems.

Brandbyge (1992).

Source: Spencer, R. (1997). Polygonaceae. In: Spencer, R.. Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 2. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 1. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.

kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Magnoliopsida
superorder     Caryophyllanae
order      Caryophyllales
family       Polygonaceae