Electronic Flora of South Australia
Electronic Flora of South Australia
Census of SA Plants, Algae & Fungi
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Electronic Flora of South Australia family Fact Sheet


Alternative names: Not Applicable

Herbs, undershrubs and shrubs, glabrous or with glandular and/or non-glandular hairs; leaves alternate, simple, lacking stipules.

Inflorescence cymose or racemose, rarely a capitulum, or the flowers solitary; flowers sessile or pedicellate, zygomorphic, bisexual, epigynous, perigynous or hypogynous, with a hypanthium surrounding the ovary; calyx herbaceous, with 5 more or less free valvate lobes; corolla sympetalous, often 2-lipped or 1-sided; lobes 5, valvate, often with undulate induplicate wings and small lateral lobes (auricles); stamens 5, inserted at the base of the corolla tube or free, alternating with the lobes; anthers basifixed, 2-celled, introrse, included, often cohering around the style to form a cylinder which is filled with pollen when the flower opens; style usually simple, growing up through the anther cylinder and terminated by a cup-shaped or 2-lipped ciliate-margined indusium which collects and exposes the pollen; stigma small, usually 2-lobed, inside the indusium; ovary superior to inferior, 1- or 2-celled with a septum (dissepiment); ovules 1-several per cell, anatropous, usually erect or ascending on axile or subbasal placentas.

Fruit a capsule, drupe or nut; seeds usually endospermic, often flattened and winged; embryo straight.

Distribution:  17 genera with about 410 species in the Southern Hemisphere, of which 16 genera and 380 species are Australian.

Biology: Catospermum goodeniaceum (F. Muell.)Krause was included by J. Black in Fl. S. Aust. 562 (1929); however, there is no evidence that this species has ever occurred within S.Aust.

Key to Genera:
1. Inflorescence a solitary capitulum on a naked scape; corolla almost actinomorphic
1. Inflorescence not capitular, if scapose then loose with prominent bracteoles; corolla strongly zygomorphic
2. Ovary containing 1 or 2 ovules; fruit an indehiscent nut or drupe
3. Corolla 2-lipped, the posterior lobes with auricles; anthers cohering in a tube
3. Corolla 1-sided with lobes spreading like a fan, without auricles; anthers free
2. Ovary containing 4-many ovules; fruit a capsule
4. Ovary superior (free from the calyx)
4. Ovary inferior (more or less enclosed by the hypanthium)
5. Divaricate shrubs with linear terete leaves or minute scale leaves
5. Herbs, or shrubs with broad flat prominent leaves
6. Plant succulent; corolla l-sided with lobes spreading like a fan, lacking membranous wings
6. Plant never succulent; corolla more or less 2-lipped, with membranous-winged lobes
7. Seeds wingless, hardly compressed, carunculate
7. Seeds flattened, winged, without a caruncle

Author: Prepared by D. A. Cooke except where indicated

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