R. Br. in W.T. Aiton, Hort. Kew. edn 2, 4:415 (1812).
Synonymy: M. tetragona Lodd. ex Otto, Horae Phys. Berol. 37 (1820); M. parviflora Reichb., Ic. Bot. Exot. t. 31 (1823); M. elegans Hornsch., Allg. Gartenz. 2:329 (1834); M. oligantha F. Muell. ex Miq., Nederl. Kruidk. Arch. 4:123 (1856); M. decussata R. Br. var. ovoidea J. Black, Trans. R. Soc. S. Aust. 49:275 (1925).
Common name: Totem poles, cross-leaved honey-myrtle.
Slender shrub 2-3 m high, glabrous except for the very sparsely pubescent rhachis; leaves decussate, linear to oblanceolate, 5-15 mm long, 1-3 mm broad, often weakly keeled, rounded-obtuse, distinctly glandular below, obscurely 3-nerved on both surfaces, sessile.
Flowers in 3-9 pairs of monads in hermaphrodite or female-sterile spikes mostly basal on lateral leafy stems, subtended by very deciduous somewhat scarious narrowly triangular bracts as long as the leaves; hypanthium flask-shaped, c. 1 mm long, 1.5-2 mm diam., with an elongated attachment to the rhachis; sepals very depressed semi-elliptic, 0.2-0.5 mm long, with a membranous margin; stamens in bundles of 10-20, pink to purple; claw c. 0.5 mm long; free parts of filaments 3-5 mm long.
Fruit woody, flask-shaped to rounded, c. 4 mm diam., truncate, in spikes eventually immersed in the strongly inflated rhachis on leafy stems.
Costermans (1981) Native trees and shrubs of south-eastern Australia, p. 251.
S.Aust.: EP, YP, SL, KI, SE. Vic.
Flowering time: in late spring and summer.
SA Distribution Map based
on current data relating to
specimens held in the
State Herbarium of South Australia
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