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Electronic Flora of South Australia species Fact Sheet

Bursaria spinosa

Citation: Cav., Icon. 4:30 (1797).

Synonymy: Itea spinosa Andrews, Bot. Rep. 5:t. 314 (1803); Cyrilla spinosa (Andrews) Sprengel, Nov. Prov. Hort. Acad. Hol. Berol. 15 (1819).

Common name: Sweet bursaria, native box, native blackthorn, whitethorn, Christmas bush.

Low densely branched shrub or tree 1-12 m tall; branches unarmed or with terminal and lateral thorns; leaves solitary or clustered, sessile, linear to lanceolate or ovate to obovate, 4-35 x 1-15 ram, often toothed, upper and lower surfaces glabrous; mid-vein depressed above, prominent below.

Inflorescence axillary clusters of flowers or axillary or terminal racemes or panicles, 2.5-40 x 2-20 mm; bracts leaf-like, 17-40 x 3-17 mm; sepals persistent or deciduous, ciliate and sparsely pubescent; petals white, 3-7 x 1-3 mm, 3-veined, glabrous; ovary glabrous to sparsely hairy.

Capsule orbicular, elliptic, 5-7 x 7-9 mm, apiculate by the persistent style, glabrous, pale- to dark-brown; seeds dark-brown, flat, reniform to orbicular, 3-4 x 2-3 mm, reticulate.

Published illustration: Costermans (1981) Native trees and shrubs of south-eastern Australia, p. 181 .

Conservation status: native

Flowering time: No flowering time is available

SA Distribution Map based
on current data relating to
specimens held in the
State Herbarium of South Australia

Biology: No text

Taxonomic notes: There are 6 varieties recognised within this species, but presently do not appear to represent clearly definable taxa. Extensive field observations of the habit correlated with leaf and floral morphology are necessary before a detailed revision of this species can be achieved.

Key to Infraspecific taxa:
1. Leaves greater than 2.5 cm long; branches unarmed
2. Trees or tall shrubs; leaves usually 1-2 cm wide; stamens more or less equal to the petals
var. macrophylla 2b.
2. Shrubs usually less than 2 m high; leaves usually less than 1 cm wide; stamens exceeding the petals
var. lanceolata 2c.
1. Leaves less than 2.5 cm long; branches spiny (rarely unarmed)
3. Sepals deciduous; petals 3-5 X 0.5-1 mm
4. Leaves 1-2.5 cm long and more than 2 mm wide
var. spinosa 2a.
4. Leaves less than 10 mm long and less than 2 mm wide
var. microphylla 2d.
3. Sepals present at anthesis; petals 4-6.5X 1.5-2 mm
5. Leaves narrow-lanceolate, clustered in groups of varying lengths, longest up to 30 mm, shortest 6-10 mm
var. australis 2e.
5. Leaves obovate to lanceolate, clustered or alternate, of similar length, 6-18 mm long
var. obovata 2f

Author: Not yet available

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