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

Trees, shrubs or climbers with flexuose or decumbent branches, occasionally spinescent; leaves alternate or fascicled, simple, entire or toothed, exstipulate.

Flowers solitary, racemose or cymose, occasionally paniculate, bisexual, regular, rarely irregular; sepals 5, imbricate or valvate, free or connate at the base; petals 5, imbricate, clawed, free or more or less connate at the base of forming a tube, spreading at the apex; stamens 5, free, connate at the base or adnate to the petals, alternating with the petals; anthers 2-locular, dehiscing by apical pores or longitudinal slits; ovary superior, 2-5-celled, with parietal or axile placentas; style simple; ovules several to numerous.

Fruit a loculicidally dehiscing capsule or berry.

Distribution:  8 genera, all found in Australia, and about 250 species; 6 genera are endemic to Australia, Hymenosporum occurs in New Guinea and Australia and the largest genus, Pittosporum, occurs in Africa, south-east Asia, Australia and the Pacific Islands.

Biology: No text

Key to Genera:
1. Anthers linear, sagittate, equal in length to the filaments
2. Flowers irregular; anthers free, turned to 1 side
2. Flowers regular; anthers cohering by apical tips when young, symmetrically arranged
1. Anthers ovate, much shorter than the filaments
3. Petals spreading from the base; ovary and capsule distinctly stipitate
3. Petals united at the base, or united into a tube with the tips of the petals spreading; ovary and capsule sessile or shortly stipitate
4. Shrubs or trees; fruit a coriaceous or woody capsule
4. Climbers or small shrubs; fruit a membranous or slightly coriaceous capsule or berry

Author: Prepared by E. M. Bennett

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