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Electronic Flora of South Australia genus Fact Sheet

Family: Compositae
Helichrysum

Citation: Miller, Sect. Lawrencella (Lindley) Benlb. (1867) Fl. Aust. 3:613.

Derivation: Greek helios, sun; chrysos, gold; alluding to the patent yellow laminae of the involucres of some everlastings.

Synonymy: Ozothamnus R. Br., Trans. Linn. Soc. Lond. 12:125 (1818); Lawrencella Lindley, Edwards' Bot. Reg. 23, App. Sketch Veg. Swan R Colonv xxiii (1839); Chrysocephalum Walp., Linnaea 14:503 ( 1841 ); Schoenia Steetz in Lehm, Pl. Preiss. 1:480 (1845).

Common name: Everlastings.

Description:
Annual herbs: lower leaves opposite.

Capitula homogamous but only the outer florets fertile; involucre hemispherical to campanulate or cylindrical, of golden-brown hyaline bracts; inner bracts with or without patent white or coloured papery laminae; innermost bracts longest; florets exceeding the involucre (excluding the laminae); style branches acute, papillose.

Achenes with antrorse or patent rather robust hairs.

Distribution:  About 500 species, in Eurasia, Australia, New Zealand and Madagascar but especially Africa; the Australian species are all or mostly endemic.

Biology: No text

Taxonomic notes: Very distinct from other species of Helichrysum and showing more affinity with some species of Helipterum. Further studies are likely to confirm the placement of all of these related species in a distinct genus Lawrencella Lindley.

Key to Species:
8. Rhizomatous; coarse septate glandular hairs absent from upper side of leaves; capitula 1.5-2 cm diam
H. rutidolepis 11.
8. Non-rhizomatous; upper side of leaves pubescent with coarse septate glandular hairs; capitula 2-3 cm diam
H. scorpioides 12.
2. Capitula in terminal dense or open sometimes leafy corymbs or panicle-like aggregations
 
9. Stems and leaves on both sides densely felty-tomentose with woolly hairs
H. blandowskianum 7.
9. Stems scabrous or with loose woolly-cobwebby hairs; at least the upper side of leaves with sparse vestiture
 
10. Stems and leaves scabrous or pubescent with glandular or non-glandular septate hairs but woolly-cobwebby hairs absent
 
11. Leaves mostly opposite; involucre cylindrical or narrowly campanulate; laminae pink, rarely white
H. cassinianum 2.
11. Leaves all alternate; involucre broadly campanulate to hemispherical; laminae yellow or white (when sometimes suffused with pink)
 
12. Laminae of outer involucral bracts markedly broader than those of the inner ones; laminae rigid (usually yellow, rarely white)
H. bracteatum 8.
12. Laminae of outer involucral bracts about equal in breadth to those of the inner ones; laminae thinly papery (usually white, sometimes the outer ones tinged pink)
H. adenophorum 5.
10. Stem and leaves with vestiture of woolly-cobwebby hairs (sometimes sparse)
 
13. Involucre cylindrical to narrowly campanulate; longer laminae broadly ovate to orbicular, not longer than 5 mm
H. semifertile 4.
13. Involucre broadly campanulate; longer laminae more or less linear, at least 10 mm long
H. leucopsideum 9.
1. Intermediate and inner involucral bracts without conspicuous laminae, the tips sometimes opaque and coloured but then erect, or if patent then under 2 mm long; florets equal to or exceeding the involucre
 
14. Capitula solitary, usually on long peduncles
 
15. Involucral bracts ciliate, some bracts with cilia in length at least a third and up to 3 times as wide as the bracts
 
16. Lower leaves with strongly sheathing bases; tufted perennials
 
17. Leaves mostly 3-6 cm (but up to 14 cm) long and rarely more than 1 mm wide, linear, with revolute margins, often only the midrib visible beneath; pappus bristles 4 (rarely 7)
Leptorhynchos tenuifolius
17. Leaves mostly 1-3 cm long, 1.5-5 mm wide, oblanceolate to narrowly so, with narrowly recurred margins; pappus bristles 8-12
Leptorhynchos squamatus
16. Lower leaves sessile at the base but not sheathing; tap-rooted annual or perennial herbs or undershrubs
 
18. Pappus bristles of bisexual florets 4 or fewer
 
19. Capitula sessile, surrounded and exceeded by a cluster of subtending leaves
Triptilodiscus pygmaeus
19. Capitula on peduncles 1.5-5 cm long, without a cluster of subtending leaves
 
20. Pappus bristles of bisexual florets 4, about equal to the corolla, barbellate in the upper half
Leptorhynchos tetrachaetus
20. Pappus bristles of bisexual florets solitary or sometimes up to 3, only three-quarters as long as the corolla, stiffly plumose in the upper half
Leptorhynchos baileyi
18. Pappus bristles of bisexual florets 5 or more
 
21. Annual herb 5-20 cm tall; leaves pubescent with coarse septate hairs, sometimes ending in a long woolly fibre; pappus bristles 15-20
Leptorhynchos waitzia
21. Perennial herb with woody lower branches, 20-40 cm tall; leaves with sparse to dense vestiture of woolly-cobwebby hairs; pappus bristles 5-8
H. eremaeum 19.
15. Involucral bracts entire or shallowly laciniate, not ciliate
 
22. At least lower leaves opposite; pappus bristles united in groups into distinct claws themselves connate; achenes narrowly obconical with 2 median ribs
H. ayersii 1.
22. Leaves all alternate; pappus bristles connate but not united in groups into claws; achenes oblong or fusiform, sometimes beaked
 
23. Leaves spathulate to obovate, flat, with dense felty vestiture of woolly hairs on both sides
H. podolepideum 19.
23. Leaves linear, linear-lanceolate or linear-oblanceolate, with recurved margins, scabrous or with vestiture of woolly hairs denser on the underside
 
24. Florets not exceeding the involucre; capitula 6-10 mm long; involucral bracts with woolly-cobwebby hairs
H. ambiguum 17.
24. Florets conspicuously exceeding the involucre; capitula 10-20 mm long; involucral bracts lacking woolly-cobwebby hairs
 
25. Achenes tapering gradually into an indistinct beak; florets creamy-white to pale-yellow; perennial
Leptorhynchos elongatus
25. Achenes with a distinct long slender beak; florets bright-yellow; annual
Leptorhynchos scabrus
14. Capitula in corymbs, clusters or racemes, sessile or on short peduncles
 
26. At least the lower leaves opposite; achene obconical
H. ayersii 1.
26. Leaves all alternate; achene oblong or ellipsoid, more or less compressed
 
27. At least the outer involucral bracts ciliate; annual or perennial herbs
 
28. Involucral bracts of flowering capitula and tips of pappus bristles bright- to pale-yellow
 
29. Annual; involucral bracts all almost equal in length (the outer ones marginally shorter); pappus bristle of bisexual florets 1
H. monochaetum 14.
29. Perennials; involucral bracts graded in length, the outer ones markedly shorter; pappus bristles of bisexual florets 6-12
 
30. Leaves narrowly lanceolate, elliptic, oblanceolate or spathulate, rarely less than 3 mm wide
H. apiculatum 13.
30. Leaves linear, 1-2 mm wide
H. semipapposum 16.
28. Involucral bracts of flowering capitula and tips of pappus bristles colourless or pale-stramineous
 
31. Bushy perennial herb or undershrub with woody lower branches; branches closely white-felty
H. pterochaetum 15.
31. Annuals; branches loosely woolly or hirsute
 
32. Capitula sessile, surrounded and exceeded by a cluster of subtending leaves; pappus bristles 0-3
Triptilodiscus pygmaeus
32. Capitula shortly pedunculate, without a cluster of subtending leaves; pappus bristles 15-20
Leptorhynchos waitzia
27. Involucral bracts not ciliate; shrubs
 
33. Inner involucral bracts with minute patent opaque white laminae; leaf apex not notched or recurved
 
34. Leaves with decurrent bases, 2-4 mm wide; capitula 4-5 mm long, sessile
H. dendroideum 22.
34. Leaves with broadly sessile but not decurrent bases, 1-1.5 mm wide; capitula 6-8 mm long, on peduncles 5-10 mm long
H. paralium 23.
33. Inner involucral bracts with erect translucent stramineous or opaque white laminae; leaf apex recurved or notched
 
35. Involucral bracts all with opaque white to creamy-white laminae (or the outermost stramineous), lacking membranous transparent margins; green decurrent ribs below the leaves narrow in relation to the width of the remaining exposed tomentose stem; achenes with antrorse appressed papillae
H. bilobum 20.
35. Only the inner involucral bracts with opaque white tips, these with usually broad membranous transparent margins; green decurrent ribs below the leaves broad in relation to the width of the remaining exposed tomentose stem; achenes with antrorse non-appressed papillae
H. catadromum 21.

Author: Prepared by L. Haegi


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