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Electronic Flora of South Australia
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Electronic Flora of South Australia species Fact Sheet

Family: Boraginaceae
Cynoglossum australe

Citation: R. Br., Prod. Fl. Nov. Holl. 495 (1810).

Synonymy: C. drummondii Benth., Fl. Aust. 4:409 (1868); C. australe R. Br. var. drummondii (Benth.)Brand, Pflanzenr. 252:133 ( 1931).

Common name: Australian hounds tongue.

Annuals to 60 cm high, with one to usually several erect stems from the basal rosette, with a tap root, covered with spreading to appressed hairs being usually a mixture of short fine ones and longer ones with a broad base; leaves densely clustered, oblanceolate, subpetiolate but with a short sheath in the basal rosette becoming widely spaced, lanceolate and sessile below the inflorescence, 2-25 x 0.8-4 cm, pointed, rarely with undulate margins.

Inflorescence terminal usually with several monochasia with the terminal ones once or twice dichotomously branched, with pedicellate flowers without bracts or rarely 1 or 2 al the base; sepals connate to half their length, 2-3 mm long or to 5 mm when fruiting, with lobes broadly triangular, obtuse or rounded, covered with forward-directed appressed hairs; corolla funnel-shaped, blue, glabrous except for papillose saccate protrusions or scales in the throat, 4-6 mm long; lobes broadly oblong to almost orbicular, c. 2 mm long, with a rounded apex; stamens inserted just above the middle of the corolla tube, with anthers almost sessile, ellipsoid, c. 1 mm long, with mucronate appendage; ovary 4-lobed, with the c. 1.5 mm long stout style inserted near the base, with a capitate terminal stigma.

Mericarps triangular to circular, saucer-shaped with a raised winged rim the margin of which is covered with coarse spines with barbed apices, with the depressed upper surface and under surface varying from densely covered with similar spines to few or absent, pale- to yellowish-brown.

image of FSA3_Cynoglossum_aus.jpg Flowering branch, extreme variation of mericarps in two views and a barbed spine.
Image source: fig. 534A in Jessop J.P. & Toelken H.R. (Ed.) 1986. Flora of South Australia (4th edn).

Published illustration: Cunningham et al. (1982) Plants of western New South Wales, pp. 565 & 566.

Distribution:  S.Aust.: NW, LE, FR, EA, EP, MU, YP, SL, KI, SE.   All States.

Conservation status: native

Flowering time: July — Nov.

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

Biology: No text

Taxonomic notes: In the more humid southern regions the upper and lower surface of the mericarps are densely covered with spines with barbed apices while in the northern arid areas various degrees of reduction of these spines as well as rough to smooth surfaces can be found. A particularly large range of variation is found in the FR, but as the southern form has never been recorded north of the SL region this cannot be interpreted as hybrid swarms. No clear delimitation of C. drummondii could be achieved on the basis of the reduction of the spines on the mericarps and the variation seems rather to indicate merely a multitude of local populations.

Author: Not yet available

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