Electronic Flora of South Australia
Electronic Flora of South Australia
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Electronic Flora of South Australia genus Fact Sheet

Family: Santalaceae

Citation: Labill., Voy. rech. Pérouse 1:155 (1800).

Derivation: Greek exo, outside; karpos, fruit; the succulent pedicel resembles a pericarp below the nut.

Synonymy: Not Applicable

Common name: Ballarts.

Glabrous, pubescent or scabrous shrubs or trees; leaves usually alternate, caducous, on mature shoots minute to 7 mm long, on young stems very much larger.

Flowers minute, sessile or subsessile, mostly unisexual, in small axillary spikes or clusters, each flower in a notch of the spike; perianth of 3-6 segments; anthers inflexed, opening by oblique slits; disk flat and only apparent in the male flowers; ovary conical, superior, fleshy; stigma sessile.

Fruit a drupe or nut, resting on the enlarged succulent pedicel; only 1 or 2 of the upper flowers in each spike producing fruit.

Distribution:  26 species in Australia, south-east Asia and the Pacific Islands. (H. U. Stauffer (1959) Mitt. Bot. Mus. Univ. Zürich 213:117-237.) All Australian species belong to subgenus Exocarpos, and all S.Aust. species to section Exocarpos.

Biology: The fruiting pedicel of at least some species is edible. Host species belong to a wide range of families including Leguminosae, Myrtaceae, Proteaceae and Casuarinaceae.

Taxonomic notes: Exocarpus is an incorrect spelling of the name.

Key to Species:
1. Flowers in the notches of the rhachis of short cylindrical pedunculate spikes; branches slender, not rigid
2. Leaves triangular or lanceolate
E. cupressiformis 2.
2. Leaves linear-subulate
E. sparteus 3.
1. Flowers in very short sessile or subsessile clusters; branchlets rigid although sometimes slender, often pungent-pointed and articulate at the base
3. Young branchlets more or less cylindrical or compressed-cylindrical, with flattened ribs; leaves ovate to lanceolate
4. Fruiting pedicel red, broader than long; leaves more or less ovate but very early caducous; branches more or less spreading usually at more than 45 degrees
E. aphyllus 1.
4. Fruiting pedicel white to pinkish, longer than broad; leaves more or less lanceolate, usually persisting on all but the oldest branches; branches more or less erect usually at less than 45 degrees
E. syrticola 5.
3. Young branchlets compressed-triangular, with sharp edges; leaves linear-subulate
E. strictus 4.

Author: Not yet available

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