Plants on creek edge

Underside of leaf and flowers

3 lots of 3 leaflets form 1 leaf

Flower is white with yellow on lip

Hairy stem at junction of leaf, buds starting to form

Immature capsules

Seed within immature capsule

Mature pod.

Mature seed

Scientific Name

Cardiospermum grandiflorum Sweet

Common Names

balloon vine


America, Africa, West Indies



Distinguishing characteristics

Vine which can cover other creek-line vegetation. It has long tendrils for support.

Leaves are compound made up of  3 lots of 3 leaflets. Leaflets are toothed or lobed. Leaves may be up to about 16cm long. Stems are ribbed and are reddish/green.

Flowers are white with yellow on the labellum (lip) and to about 10 mm across. Flower stems form at junction of leaves and main stem.

Fruit is a capsule which is like a 3-angled round balloon. Capsules are green and soft when immature and become crisp and tan in colour at maturity. These balloon capsules are light enough to be transported by wind or water. The seeds which are black when mature germinate readily.


Other plants easily confused with this plant

This plant is very distinctive.

Sources & References

"Weeds - an illustrated botanical guide to weeds of Australia" by B. A. Auld and R. W. Medd.

"Flora of New South Wales" editor Gwen J. Harden, Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney.


Prepared by Justin KY Chu, July 2005

Checked by Dr Peter Michael, July 2005