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

Prostrate to erect shrubs or small trees; vegetative and/or floral parts with large embedded resin vesicles which often protrude as tubercles, and numerous resin secreting glandular papillae, glabrous or variously hairy or scaly; leaves alternate, more rarely opposite or whorled, simple, exstipulate, sessile or rarely petiolate.

Flowers bisexual, 4- or 5-merous, ebracteate, 1-10 in leaf axils; sepals 5, rarely 4, free to the base or connate in the lowermost part or rarely forming a deep calyx tube, imbricate or valvate, equal or unequal, often enlarging after flowering; corolla 2-lipped, almost actinomorphic to zygomorphic, caducous or rarely persistent, variously coloured; tube cylindrical or broad and bulbous at the base, often constricted above the ovary, dilated and tubular or campanulate above, usually curved; upper lip of 2 or 4 lobes, lower lip of 1 or 3 lobes, variously dissected into the tube; stamens 4 in pairs of unequal length or rarely 5, included or exserted; anthers reniform or rarely sagittate, cells confluent; ovary of two connate carpels, with an insignificant nectariferous base, 2-celled or becoming 4-celled by subsequent subdivision from the placenta; each carpel with 1 pair or 2 or 3 pairs of superimposed collateral ovules; ovules pendulous, anatropous, micropyle superior; style slender, curved or hooked at the apex; stigma slightly broader than the style, capitate or notched or very rarely lobed.

Fruit indehiscent although sometimes splitting at the apex; dry or drupaceous, fleshy or succulent, cylindrical, globular to top-shaped, smooth, ribbed or rarely winged, woody or more rarely crustaceous, with 1-4 cells, rarely more, 1-4 seeds per cell although rarely all develop; seed ovoid to oblong, smooth or faintly reticulate, endosperm present.

Distribution:  3 genera and over 200 species largely Australian but Myoporum extending to south-east Asia, Pacific and Mauritius, and Bontia endemic to the West Indies.

Biology: No text

Key to Genera:
1. Corolla zygomorphic or rarely actinomorphic but then stamens 5, variously coloured, rarely white; stamens included or exserted, with distal ends approaching each other or aggregated; fruit dry, rarely succulent
1. Corolla more or less actinomorphic, white or rarely tinged pink; stamens 4, exserted, with distal ends diverging or parallel;, fruit succulent or rarely dry

Author: Prepared by R. J. Chinnock

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