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Electronic Flora of South Australia species Fact Sheet

Frankenia pauciflora

Citation: DC., Prod. 1:350 (1824).

Synonymy: Not Applicable

Common name: Common (or southern) sea-heath.

Low sprawling to erect shrubs, branches differentiated into long- and short-shoots, lightly to densely puberulent or glabrous, hairs spreading to uncinate, internodes 2-24 mm long; long-shoot leaves 2.8-13 mm long; leaf bases tapering toward the distal end, medially somewhat thickened, flattened toward the margins, 0.5-2.1 mm long, 0.3-0.8 mm wide at the distal end; leaf blades linear or oblong, elliptic, ovate or obovate to narrowly so, coriaceous, 0.6-2.2 mm wide; margins thickened, loosely to tightly revolute; mid-vein inconspicuous to broad, flat and prominent, linear to somewhat broadened at the base; surfaces a greyish yellow-green, adaxial and abaxial surfaces glabrous to puberulent; short-shoot leaves similar to long-shoot leaves.

Flowers borne in terminal or axillary dichasia, commonly bearing 2-25 flowers, sometimes more highly branched, or solitary in axils; floral bracts leaf-like, mid-vein often more prominent than on the leaves, connate at the base into whorls of 4; calyces 5- rarely 4-lobed, 4-8 mm long, 1.2-2.1 mm wide near the apex, tubular, gradually broadening towards the apex, centre of ribs glabrous, margins and grooves puberulent to puberulent throughout; petals 5, rarely 4, spathulate, 6.5-10.5 mm long; stamens 6, in 2 unequal whorls, 4.2-10 mm long; styles 4.2-8.2 mm long; style-branches 3, rarely 2 or 4, 1.5-3.3 mm long; stigmas terminal, oblique, terete to slightly swollen at the tips; ovaries with 3, rarely 2 or 4, basal-parietal to parietal-basal placentae, 0.5-1.56 mm high, extending up the lower one-sixth to one-half of the ovary wall; ovules 6-18, 2-6 per placenta, attached along the entire placenta by erect to lightly curved funicles.

Distribution:    W.Aust.; Vic.; Tas.

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: Frankenia pauciflora is a highly variable species occurring primarily along the coast and offshore islands from W.Aust. to Tas. Summerhayes (1930) subdivided F. pauciflora into several varieties. According to Summerhayes, all S.Aust. plants belonged to varieties distinguishable from the type variety by their relatively low ovule numbers. Since all the S.Aust. specimens I examined showed characteristically low ovule numbers of 6-18, I have maintained vars. gunnii and fruticulosa as distinct from the type variety, which is found only in W.Aust. However, I have seen very little material from W.Aust. and further study of plants from there is needed. Var. fruticulosa, with its very prominent broad, flat mid-veins and generally greater foliar length:width ratios, has a more westerly distribution than var. gunnii, occurring from SL, where var. gunnii predominates, westward across EP. It is most abundant from YP westward. Var. gunnii, characterised by mid-veins which are inconspicuous to somewhat abaxiallyraised, but not broad, flat, and very prominent, has a more easterly distribution. It occurs along the coast of Tas., Vic., and S.Aust. as far west as the southern tip of EP. However, most populations are found from YP eastward. While primarily coastal, F. pauciflora does occur in some inland sites in S.Aust., mainly south-west of Lake Eyre South.

Author: Not yet available

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