Duckbill Creeper
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Duckbill Creeper
P Introduced Photo: Rajesh Ramnarayan
Common name: Duckbill Creeper, Cuello Creeper
Botanical name: Amphilophium paniculatum    Family: Bignoniaceae (Jacaranda family)
Synonyms: Amphilophium mutisii, Amphilophium purpureum, Bignonia paniculata

Duckbill Creeper is a rare woody vine of semi-evergreen seasonal forest and lower mountain rainforest of Tropical America. Branchlets, leaf-stalks, and axis are angled, hexagonal, scaly, velvet-hairy. Leaves are 2- or 3-foliolate; leaf-stalks 2.3-7 cm long; leaflet-stalks 0.6-4.3 cm long; leaflets broadly ovate to rounded, tapering, heart-shaped at base, 2.5-16 cm long, 2-10.7 cm wide, sparsely glandular-lepidote on both surfaces, the upper surface hairless. Flowers are 5-parted, aromatic, white, usually variously tinged with maroon, turning deep purple, 3-4 cm long. They are fleshy, somewhat two-lipped, with 3 narrow lobes opposing a single broad lobe. Sepal-cup envelops one-third of flower, the margin broad, double, lobed and wavy. Capsules are oblong-ellipsoid, blunt to somewhat heart-shaped on either end, 9-16 cm long, to 4.5 cm wide. Duckbill Creeper is native range is Mexico to Tropical America, cultivated elsewhere.

Identification credit: Rajesh Ramnarayan Photographed in cultivation in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu.

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