Thunb., Nov. Gen. Pl. 3:55 (1783).
Derivation: Greek gonia, angle, corner; carpos, fruit; referring to the ribbed fruits.
Synonymy: Not Applicable
Common name: Raspworts.
Annual or perennial herbs 5-30 cm tall, glabrous, scabrous or pilose with simple hairs; leaves sessile or shortly petiolate, alternate or opposite, linear, lanceolate or ovate, entire or obliquely cuspidate-toothed.
Inflorescence an indeterminate spike of bisexual flowers borne singly in the axils of reduced leaves (bracts) and each with a pair of subtending bracteoles; flowers 4-merous on short pedicels; sepals 4, deltoid, lanceolate or cordate often with a prominent median basal callus; petals hooded, keeled, usually shortly clawed; stamens 4 or 8; anthers oblong, 4-locular, non-apiculate, on short filaments; styles clavate, stigmas capitate; ovary urceolate or ovoid, variously ribbed and ornamented, never winged, incompletely 4-locular, with 1 pendulous ovule per locule.
Fruit as for ovary, sepals persistent; seed 1, occupying the entire fruit. [Note: in species descriptions, fruit length excludes the persistent sepals].
41 species, widespread in Australia and New Zealand, with a few extending to New Guinea, Indonesia, Philippines, Japan and south-east Asia; 36 species in Australia, widespread and found in all but aquatic habitats, but most common in damp sclerophyll forest. (Orchard (1977) Bull. Auckland Inst. Mus. 10:164-260; Orchard (1977) Nuytsia 2:126-144; Orchard (1986) Nuytsia 5:327-339).
The vernacular name raspwort has been used inappropriately in the Australian literature even for glabrous soft species of Gonocarpus and Haloragis.
Key to Species:
Not yet available