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

Family: Haloragaceae

Citation: Forster & Forster f., Char. Gen. Pl. 61, t. 31 (1775).

Derivation: Greek halos, salt, the sea; rhax, rhagos, a grape berry; the original species grows on beaches and has globular fruits.

Synonymy: Cercodia Banks ex Murray, Comm. Goet. 3:6 (1781); Meionectes R. Br. in Flinders, Voy. Terr. Aust. 550 (1814).

Common name: Raspworts.

Annual or perennial herbs or subshrubs 10-150 cm tall; rootstock a simple tap root or deeply stoloniferous; stems smooth or 4- or 5-ribbed, glabrous or variously pilose with simple hairs; leaves alternate or opposite, terete to ovate or pinnatifid, entire or serrate with falcate teeth, glabrous or pilose.

Inflorescence an indeterminate spike of 3-7-flowered dichasia (rarely some flowers solitary) in the axils of alternate bracts, with lateral inflorescences in the axils of the upper leaves; flowers 4-merous, rarely 1-3-merous, on short pedicels; sepals 2-4, usually smooth; petals 4 rarely 2 or 3, hooded, usually shortly clawed, keeled; stamens twice the number of petals, anthers 4-locular, non-apiculate, oblong; styles 4, rarely 1-3, clavate, stigmas capitate; ovary ovoid to hemispherical, smooth or ribbed, glabrous or pilose, 2-4-locular, (1-locular in H. eyreana) each locule with 1 (rarely 2) pendulous ovules (if 2 then 1 aborts).

Fruit an indehiscent nut, variously ornamented, 2-4-locular, with potentially 1 seed in each locule.

Distribution:  28 species, of which 23 are found in Australia, in temperate and eremaean areas only. The extra-Australian species are confined to the South Pacific, including Tuvalu, New Caledonia, New Zealand, the Cook Islands, Rapa and the Juan Fernandez group. (Orchard (1975) Bull. Auckland Inst. Mus. 10:64-140; Orchard (1986) Nuytsia 5:327-339.) The vernacular name raspwort has been applied inappropriately in the Australian literature even to glabrous soft species.

Biology: No text

Key to Species:
1. vegetative leaves opposite, at least on the lower part of the stem, ovate
H. eichleri 4.
1. Vegetative leaves all alternate (or if opposite at the base then leaves terete or 3-fid to multifid)
2. Leaves with a petiole at least 5 mm long
3. Flowers 4-merous; fruits 4-winged or -ribbed
H. odontocarpa 10.
3. Flowers 3-merous; fruits 3-winged
H. gossei 7.
2. Leaves sessile or very shortly petiolate
4. Ovary and fruit 4-locular
5. Leaves narrowly lanceolate to narrowly ovate, usually serrate
6. Plants scabrous
7. Hairs curved, 1- or 2-celled
8. Leaves green; rootstock a tap root
H. acutangula 1.
8. Leaves glaucous; rootstock a deep stolon
H. glauca 6.
7. Hairs hooked at the tip, 2-4-celled
9. Fruit ovoid, pear-shaped with the narrow end distally or globular, exocarp warty or rugose, not spongy
H. aspera 2.
9. Fruit globular, exocarp smooth, spongy
H. uncatipila 11.
6. Plants glabrous
10. Leaves green; rootstock a tap root
H. acutangula 1.
10. Leaves glaucous; rootstock a deep stolon
H. glauca 6.
5. Leaves terete, multi fid or 3-fid
11. Leaves multifid or 3-fid, usually scabrous; hairs hooked at the tip
H. heterophylla 8.
11. Leaves terete, glabrous or very sparsely scabrous; hairs short, thick, curved
H. myriocarpa 9.
4. Ovary and fruit 1- or 2-locular
12. Fruit 1-locular; terrestrial herb with linear leaves
H. eyreana 5.
12. Fruit 2-1ocular; aquatic or semi-aquatic herb with pinnatifid, multifid or pinnatipartite leaves
H. brownii 3.

Author: Not yet available

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