List of longest vines

This is a list of world's longest vines. A vine can refer to any plant with a growth habit of trailing or scandent (that is, climbing) stems or runners. The first five species are unlikely to be superseded or even to change order of rank. This list is not all inclusive in part because many species have never been measured, and also because more careful measurements are needed for many species on this list. Some species have been included because they are the largest of a habit type (such as Poison Oak as longest root climber) or as the longest member of their division or phylum (such as Equisetum giganteum).

World's longest vines

Species and family Location Length Comments
The Snuff Box Sea Bean , or Elephant Creeper (Entada phaseoloides). Mimosaceae. Found throughout tropical Asia and the Pacific. This individual apparently in India. 4,900 feet (1.5 km) estimate.[1] This species can also be up to three feet thick (three meters girth)[2] and is therefore also one of the most massive of vines, and for that matter of all plants.
Ribbon Vine (Bauhinia rubiginosa) Caesalpinaceae This specimen in Surinam. 1,968 feet (600 meters)[3] Ivan T. Sanderson, writing earlier, says only "several hundred yards". Sanderson believed these Surinam giants were the most massive plants on earth.[4]
Philodendron sp. (probably Ph. cordatum) [Araceae]. Native to Central America. This one in Amhurst, Massachusetts. 1,114 feet ((339.55 meters) in 1984.[5] The longest monocot. It also weighed 250 lbs ((113.6 kg). It is unknown whether it could grow this long or this heavy in the wild.
Rattan Manau (Calamus manan) Palmae, or Arecaceae East Indies. This one at the Buitenzorg (now Bogor) Botanic Gardens, Java, Indonesia. 787 feet (239.88 m) exactly. The longest exact measurement.[6] Vines are up to four inches (10 cm) thick. There are unconfirmed reports of rattans up to 1,800 feet (548.64 m) in length.[7]
Rotan Simambu (Calamus scipionum) [Palmae, or Arecaceae}. Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo. Exactly 599 feet (182.58 meters) to the point where it was severed.[8] Upper reaches could not be recovered, but the total length was certainly well in excess of 600 feet (182.88 meters).
Sea Hearts, Monkey Ladder or St. Thomas Creeper (Entada gigas) Mimosaceae. Found throughout Neotropics. This one in Jamaica. At least 450 feet (137.16 meters).[9] Seedpods of E. gigas up to eight feet long and divided into segments like a Beggartick as against three feet and undivided for E. phaseoloides. E. gigas has heart-shaped seeds while those of E. phaseoloides are round or rounded rectangular.[10] In spite of these differences, both species are frequently lumped as "E. scandens". The stem of this species can measure up to 3' 2" thick (three meters girth).[11]
Chinese Wisteria (Wistaria sinensis) Papillionaceae. Native to China. This one in Sierra Madre, California. About 500 feet (about 150 meters).[12][13][14] Largest Wistaria in the world. Weighs about 22 tons. Trunk about three feet (0.9 meter) thick. Another Wisteria, a W. multijuga at Ushi Jima (or Usijima) Japan is stated to be 1,100 years of age; probably the oldest vine of any species in the world.[15] Another W. multijuga at Ashikaga, Tochigi Perfecture, Japan has a trunk five feet thick on its greater axis by about three feet on the lesser axis,[16] probably the thickest vine of any species.
Camel's Foot Climber, or Maloo (Bauhinia vahlii) Caesalpinaceae. Himalayan foothills. About 300 feet (91.44 meters).[17] Also up to a meter (3.25 feet) thick.[18] Among the most massive of vines.
"Jungle Chocolate" or "Malombo" (Landolphia mannii) Apocynaceae. Congo-Brazzaville Over 330 feet ("More than 100 meters")[19] Stem a foot thick near the base.
Dinochloa andamanica [Gramineae, or Poaceae] Nicobar Islands south of Burma. 295 feet (89.92 meters)[20] One of the few vining bamboo species, and the longest bamboo culm.
Embelia pergamina Myrsinaceae. Mountains of Java. Up to 250 feet (76.2 meters).[21]
"Giant Pepper Vine" (Piper novae-hollandiae) [Piperaceae]. Queensland rainforest, Australia. 230 feet (70.1 meters).[22] Stem up to sixteen inches (40 cm) thick.[23]
"The Giant Kelp" (Macrocystis pyrifera) [Laminariaceae]. The Pacific coasts of the Americas plus New Zealand, Tasmania and, in the Atlantic, around the Falkland Islands. 230 feet (70 meters).[24] Longest algal vine and longest aquatic vine. This specimen also weighed 308 lbs. (140 kg).[25]
Triphyophyllum peltatum [Dioncophyllaceae]. Tropical West Africa. Up to 230 feet (70 meters).[26][27] This is the most massive carnivorous plant known, being thicker and woodier than Nepenthes.
Vanilla Orchid (Vanilla planifolia) [Orchidaceae]. Southern Mexico, Central America, northern South America, the West Indies and Florida. Between 200 and 300 feet (between 61 and 91 meters).[28][29] Longest of the 18,000 (lumper estimate) to 35,000 (splitter estimate) species of orchids, and the longest herbaceous vine. Stem is about three-quarters inch (19 mm) thick.
"Shicsi Huaiu" (Gnetum leyboldii) [Gnetaceae]. Central America. This one at the Finca la Selva Reserve, Costa Rica. Climbing to the top of a 170-foot (51.8 meter) emergent tree; its total length probably around 200 feet(61 meters).[30] This is the longest Gymnosperm vine. The stem was as thick as the finder's thigh.
"Poison Oak" (Rhus (or Toxicodendron) diversiloba radicans) [Anacardiaceae]. Temperate North America. This one in Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, Del Norte County, California. 180 feet (54.86 meters).[31][32] This is the longest root climber. This one was climbing a Coast Redwood and was three inches (7.6 cm) thick.
Nepenthes hispida [Nepenthaceae]. Sarawak and Brunei in Malaysian Borneo. 165 feet (50 meters),[33]
"Copa de Oro" (Solandra maxima) [Solanaceae]. Southern Mexico. 165 feet (50 meters).[34] Has huge funnelform flowers up to nine inches (23 cm) long and ten inches (25 cm) wide. Golden with five radial brown stripes.
Teratophyllum aculeatum [Dennstaedtiaceae]. Widespread in the East Indies. 140 feet (42.7 meters).[35] Longest fern vine.
"Bull Kelp" (Nereocystis luetkeana) [Laminariaceae]. Pacific coast of North America. This one offshore from Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. A measured length of 134.5 feet (41 meters)[36] Others at Yakutat Bay, Alaska were estimated to be 165 feet (fifty meters) in length.[37]
Galeola altissima [Orchidaceae]. East Indies, Malay Peninsula and Queensland. Up to 130 feet (40 meters)[38][39] Tallest saprophyte and tallest monocot root climber.
Selaginella exaltata [Selaginellaceae]. Native from Panama to western Brazil. Up to 59 feet (18 meters)[40] Longest member of the Clubmoss Division or Phylum (Lycophyta).
Giant Horsetail (Equisetum giganteum) [Equisetaceae]. Widespread in the New World tropics. Up to 36 feet (11 meters) high in Venezuela.[41] Up to 39 feet (12 meters) in the Pantanal region of Brazil.[42] Longest member of the Horsetail Division or Phylum (Siphonophyta).
Spiridens reinwardtii (Spiridentaceae). East Indies, Melanesia and Taiwan. This one in New Guinea. Climbing to a height of about ten feet (three meters)[43] If climbing at an angle of 45 degrees, actual length would be about 14' 2" (4.32 meters). This is the longest member of the Moss Division or Phylum (Bryophyta), and the only true vine among mosses.

See also


  1. R.E. Hawkins, editor, "Encyclopedia of Indian Natural History" (Delhi: Oxford Univ. Press, 1986) p.199
  2. Warren L. Wagner et al, "Manual of the Flowering Plants of Hawai'i" Vol. 1 p 671.
  3. Prof. Dr. Jens Rohwer, "Tropical Plants of the World" (New York: Sterling Pub. Co. Inc., 2002) p. 18.
  4. Ivan T. Sanderson and David Loth, "Ivan Sanderson's Book of Great Jungles" (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1965) p. 144.
  6. Paul W. Richards, "Tropical Rain Forest" (Cambridge, Eng.: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1952 edition) p. 102. Quoting: M. Treub in "Annales des Jardin Botanique Buitenzorg" (1883) p. 175
  7. Georgius Rumphius, "Herbarium Amboinensis" Part 5 P. 100.
  8. Gardener's Chronicle Vol. 76 (3rd series) (October 24, 1924) p. 228.
  9. Gardener's Chronicle Vol. 15 (2nd series)(April 2, 1881) p. 430.
  10. "Sea Hearts". Retrieved 21 June 2016.
  11. Warren L. Wagner et al, "Manual of the Flowering Plants of Hawai'i" (Honolulu: Univ. of Hawai'i and Bishop Museum co-publication, 1990) Vol.1 p. 671.
  12. Aubrey B. Haines, "The Vine That Wouldn't Stop Growing", NATURAL HISTORY Vol. 65 # 3 ((March 1956) p. 160.
  13. Gardener's Chronicle Vol. 140 (3rd series) # 17 (October 27, 1956) p. 428.
  14. Los Angeles Times newspaper (April 15, 1990) P. K7 plus photo p. K1
  15. Gardener's Chronicle Vol. 86 (3rd series) # 4641 (December 7, 1929) p. 446 plus photo p. 447.
  17. Charles Pickering, "Chronological History of Plants" (Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1879) p. 349 (length).
  18. Teresa Farino, "Photographic Encyc. of Wildflowers", (New York: Smithmark, 1991) p. 155.(thickness).
  19. Roy P. Mackal Ph.D., "A Living Dinosaur?", (Leiden, Neth.: E. J. Brill, 1987) pp. 289-290.
  20. Rev. Ethelbert Blatter, "Indian Bamboos", INDIAN FORESTER Vol. 55 # 11 (November 1929) p. 602.
  21. "Contributions from the Osborn Botanical Laboratory"(1922) p. 288.
  22. Stanley Breeden, "Visions of a Rainforest", (Berkeley: Ten Speed Press, 1992) p. 13.
  23. "Phylotrax". Retrieved 21 June 2016.
  24. Tore Levring et al, "Marine Algae" (Hamburg: Cram, DeGruyter & Co., 1969) p. 186.
  25. Levring. loc. cit.
  26. "The Carnivorous Plant FAQ: Triphyophyllum". Retrieved 21 June 2016.
  27. Wilhelm Barthlott, "The Curious World of Carnivorous Plants",(Portland: Timber Press, 2009) p. 92.
  28. Fred J. Chittenden and Patrick M. Synge, "Royal Hort. Soc. Dictionary of Gardening",(Oxford, Eng.: Clarendon Press, 1965 edit.) Vol. 4 p. 2198.
  29. Alfred B. Graf, "Tropica" (3rd edition) P. 1104 (Stated as "100 meters" (328 feet).
  30. Donald R. Perry Ph.D., "The Canopy of the Rainforest", SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN (November 1984) p. 146.
  33. "Blumea" Vol. 42 # 1 (1997) p. 41.
  34. Geoffrey Herklots, "Flowering Tropical Climbers", (Folkestone, Eng.: William Dawson and Sons, Ltd., 1976) p. 172.
  35. FLORA MALESIANA Series II "Pteridophytes" Vol. 1 Part 4 pp. 256, 266-267.
  36. William A. Setchell, "Nereocystis and Pelagophycus", BOTANICAL GAZETTE Vol. 45 # 2 (February 1908) p. 126.
  37. Setchell op.cit.
  38. Paul Richards "Tropical Rainforest' op. cit. p. 130
  40. A.G.H. Alston et al, "The Genus Selaginella in Tropical South America", BULL. BRIT. MUSEUM (NATURAL HISTORY)- BOTANY Series Vol. 9 # 4 (December 17, 1981) p. 306. Quoting: Frederic Antoine Spring in MEM. ACAD. SCI. LETT. BELG. Vol. 24 (1850) p. 145.
  41. W. Boting-Hemsley, "Botany Vol. 3", BIOLOGICA CENTRALI-AMERICANA (London: R.H. Porter and DuLau & Co., 1888) Vol. 55 p. 699.
  42. Joao Decker, "Aspectos Biologicos da Flora Brasileira" (Sao Leopoldo: Rottermund & Co., 1936) p. 538.
  43. Tomas Hallingback and Nick Hodgetts, "Mosses, Liverworts and Hornworts", Introduction p. 1 at (Photograph with human figure).
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