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

Family: Campanulaceae

Citation: Schrader ex Roth, Nov. Pl. Sp. 399 (1821).

Derivation: After Göran Wahlenberg, 1780-1851, a Swedish botanist.

Synonymy: Not Applicable

Common name: Native bluebells.

Annual or perennial herbs with a tap root and sometimes rhizomes; aerial stems one to many, erect or ascending, branched or unbranched, terete; leaves alternate or opposite, sessile, obovate to linear, decreasing in size up the stem, margins flat or undulate, usually bearing small callus-teeth.

Flowers terminal, in loose cymes or solitary on long stalks; sepals usually 5, persistent to the fruiting stage: corolla campanulate or rotate, regular, usually 5-lobed, usually blue; stamens usually 5, free: ovary inferior, 2-, 3- or 5-celled; style 2-~ 3- or 5-fid, the upper part covered with pollen-presenting hairs.

Fruit a capsule dehiscing through apical valves; seeds many.

Distribution:  About 200 species are widely distributed, especially in the Southern Hemisphere; 26 species are found in Australia. The treatment here largely follows P. J. Smith (1976) Ph.D. thesis, University of Sydney.

Biology: No text

Key to Species:
1. Corolla rotate, the lobes more than 4 times as long as the tube; style capitate, contracted just below the stigmatic lobes by more than half its width
2. Capsules 2-5 mm long hemispherical growing on river banks and, flood plains beside the River Murray and its tributaries
W. fluminalis 3.
2. Capsules 4-12.5 mm long, elongated-obconical; growing in grassy sites in various types of vegetation in the higher rainfall regions of the State
W. multicaulis 9.
1. Corolla campanulate, the obes less than 4 times as long as the tube; style uncontracted or contracted about halfway down by less than half its width
3. Lower leaves alternate
4. Corolla lobes more than twice as long as the corolla tube, 5-9 mm long; style contracted about halfway down
5. Much-branched more or less glabrous plants; lower leaves obovate or oblanceolate- corolla tube funnel-shaped, arid regions
W. aridicola 1.
5. Few-stemmed hirsute plants; lower leaves linear or oblanceolate; corolla tube cylindrical; higher rainfall regions
W. litticola 7.
4. Corolla lobes less than twice as long as the tube; style uncontracted
6. Corolla lobes 6-13 mm long
7. Capsules 4-9 mm long, elongated-obconical, lower leaves typically linear and glabrous
W. communis 2.
7. Capsules 1.5-5 mm long, hemispherical, lower leaves typically obovate and hirsute.
W. queenslandica 11.
6. Corolla lobes 1.5-7 mm long.
8. Capsules obconical; stems sender; higher rainfall regions W. gracilis 5
8. Capsules globular or cylindrical, appearing swollen; stems robust; arid and semi-arid regions
3. Lower leaves opposite. W. tumidifructa 13
9. Annuals; corolla lobes 0.5-5 mm long; sepals narrowly oblong, obtuse
10. Capsules globular or ellipsoidal; corolla lobes less than twice as long as the corolla tube; style 3-fid
W. gracilenta 4.
10. Capsules elongated-obconical; corolla lobes c. 3 times as long as the corolla tube; style 2-fid.
W. preissii 10.
9. Perennials; corolla lobes 6-20 mm long; sepals narrowly triangular, acute
11. Lower leaves 3-13mm wide, broader than linear, margins typically undulate; capsules ellipsoidal or globular, plants typically
W. stricta 12.
11. Lower leaves 1-4 mm wide, linear, margins flat capsules obconical or elongated-obconical; plants typically glabrous
12. Plants tufted and much-branched; leaves scattered along the stems, acute; flowers in loose cymes; corollas often yellowish-brown on the outside; corolla tube cylindrical
W. luteola 8.
12. Plants rhizomatous, the aerial stems seldom branched; leaves crowded towards the base of the stem, obtuse; flowers solitary on long stalks; corollas blue on the out-side; corolla tube funnel-shaped
W. gymnoclada 6.

Author: Not yet available

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