Electronic Flora of South Australia
Electronic Flora of South Australia
Census of SA Plants, Algae & Fungi
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Electronic Flora of South Australia genus Fact Sheet

Family: Myrtaceae

Citation: R. Br., in Flinders, Voy. Terr. Austr. 547 (1814).

Derivation: Greek kallos, beauty; stemon, a stamen.

Synonymy: Not Applicable

Common name: Bottlebrushes.

Divaricate shrubs or small trees; new growth usually pinkish, sericeous or villous, glabrescent; bark fissured or papery; leaves alternate, entire, sessile or shortly petiolate, terete or linear to elliptic, coriaceous, occasionally concave, mostly with a prominent midrib and intra-marginal vein; lateral veins and oil dots more or less prominent; spikes arising from a caducous involucre of bracts, dense to open, oblong to cylindric, at first terminal but soon overtopped by leafy shoots arising from scaly buds.

Flowers usually subtended by a single caducous basal bract (rarely leafy) and pair of lateral bracteoles; hypanthium urceolate to campanulate; sepals 5, imbricate, orbicular, caducous or semipersistent, more or less confluent; petals 5, exceeding the sepals, concave, orbicular; stamens exceeding petals, numerous, free or rarely united shortly at the base, filaments usually glabrous; anthers versatile, cells parallel, dehiscence longitudinal; ovary enclosed in the hypanthium, tomentose on top, 3-celled, with numerous ovules on a peltate placenta; style with a small capitate stigma.

Fruit a capsule, urceolate to cup-shaped, opening loculicidally by 3 (rarely 4) valves, usually persistent for several years and enlarging; seeds linear-cuneate.

Distribution:  Approximately 30 species, mostly in eastern Australia and 4 anomalous species in New Caledonia. Popular horticultural subjects in Australia and overseas with many cultivars.

Biology: No text

Key to Species:
1. Spike to 30 mm wide; first year fruit to 5 mm long
2. Filaments creamy-white, leaves flat
C. sieberi 3.
2. Filaments crimson, leaf margins inrolled
C. brachyandrus 1.
1. Spike more than 35 mm wide; first year fruit more than 5 mm long
3. Filaments bearded; leaves terete
C. teretifolius 4.
3. Filaments glabrous; leaves narrowly oblanceolate
C. rugulosus 2.

Author: Prepared by R. D. Spencer and P. F. Lumley

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