The wonga vine (sometimes referred to as ‘wonga wonga’) is commonly recognised at Mary Cairncross thanks to the mighty, aged specimen that hangs above one of the central walking tracks.
A member of the Bignoniaceae family, it is classified as both a scrambling and climbing vine.
This resilient plant can be found in the moist forests along eastern Australia as well as the drier interior.
Its distinguishable woody texture has fawn coloured bark and long twining branches, spanning more than 20m in length. Wonga vine leaves grow in glossy-green opposite pairs, up to 15cm long. Juvenile leaflets are fern-like.
When visiting Mary Cairncross you may notice the vine sprawling across the forest floor and up into the canopy. In spring it blossoms with sweetly scented, tubular flowers of cream-white and maroon, which attract many honeyeaters and insects.
Its name is derived from a Central Australian Aboriginal language. The slender and flexible wood was and is used in fashioning woomera-cast spears, making it a culturally significant plant.