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 genus Fact Sheet

Family: Polygalaceae

Citation: .Labill., Nov. Holl. Pl. Sp. 2:21 (1806).

Derivation: Greek komb, hair of the head; sperma, seed; alluding to the tuft of hairs on the seed.

Synonymy: Not Applicable

Common name: None

Shrubs or subshrubs, often climbing, rarely spiny, often arising from a woody rootstock; leaves alternate, often reduced to scales or readily deciduous.

Inflorescence a terminal raceme, often short, occasionally an axillary raceme or solitary; bracts caducous; sepals 5, outer 3 free or with the lower 2 overlapping or united; inner sepals or wings large and petal-like; petals 3, or 5 with 2 reduced or vestigial, variously united with the stamens; lowest petal keeled and usually lobed or pouched; stamens 8, united for about half their length; anthers basifixed, 1-celled, opening by a large apical pore; ovary 2-celled, laterally compressed; style usually flattened and curved or bent abruptly below a broad truncate bilobed or bifurcate apex, with the stigma at one side; ovules 1 in each cell, anatropous, pendulous from the top of the central axis.

Fruit a compressed capsule with a narrow marginal wing, loculicidally dehiscent at the margins; seeds pubescent and usually with a coma of many long hairs extending to the base of the elongate capsule; raphe often extending along the adaxial surface and/or expanding into a membranous appendage at the opposite (apical) end.

Distribution:  About 24 Australian species. Included in Bredemeyera Willd. by St. Hilaire (1829), Fl. Brasil. merid. 2:36-37. See Thompson (1978), Flora of N.S.W. 112:2, for further discussion. (Pedley (1984) Austrobaileya 2:7-14.)

Biology: No text

Key to Species:
1. Outer sepals all free; plants with generally leafless aspect or with elliptic to lanceolate leaves or if leaves oblong then plant twining
2. Outer sepals almost as long as the wings; slender erect subshrub to 700 mm tall
C. calymega 1.
2. Outer sepals much shorter than the wings
3. Stout erect perennial
C. scoparium 3.
3. Twining plant
C. volubile 4.
1. Two anterior outer sepals united; small erect subshrub to 350 mm tall; leaves oblong or obovate
C. polygaloides 2.

Author: Not yet available

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