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

Family: Malvaceae

Citation: Miller, Gard. Dict. abr. edn 4 (1754).

Derivation: Aubutilun, the name quoted by the Arabian physician Avicenna as belonging to this or some allied genus.

Synonymy: Not Applicable

Common name: Lantern flowers.

Perennial shrubs or annual herbs, with mainly stellate hairs; leaves alternate, entire or more often crenate, ovate or obovate to orbicular, often cordate at the base.

Flowers bisexual, pedunculate in leaf axils, moderately conspicuous; epicalyx 0; calyx with 5 lobes longer or shorter than the tube; petals 5, cream or yellow; anthers numerous, on filaments arising from the top of a long tube; carpels 5-20, in a single whorl with 3-9 (rarely 2) ovules in each cell; styles with as many branches as carpels, slender or thickened towards the apex, fused below; stigmas confined to the tips of the styles.

Fruit separating wholly or largely into fruitlets, depressed above, the fruitlets opening in 2 valves which may be awned; seeds glabrous or pubescent.

Distribution:  At least 100 species in warm parts of the world; about 30 in Australia. (Mitchell in Jessop (1981) Flora of central Australia, pp. 213-215.)

Biology: No text

Key to Species:
1. Calyx lobes shorter than the tube
2. Peduncles longer than the petioles; ccorolla scarcely exceeding the calyx
A. cryptopetalum 1.
2. Peduncles shorter than the petioles; corolla at least twice the length of the calyx
A. leucopetalum 4.
1. Calyx lobes longer than the tube
3. Fruitlets distinctly awned
4. Capsule greater than 10 mm diam.; peduncles shorter than the petioles
A. theophrasti 9.
4. Capsule less than 10 mm diam.; peduncles at least as long as the petioles
5. Leaves usually acuminate, not lobed, up to 8 cm long; seeds glabrous
A. oxycarpum 8.
5. Leaves rounded, with 3-5 lobes; up to 4 cm long; seeds glabrous or pubescent
A. malvaefolium 6.
3. Fruitlets angular or rounded, not awned
6. Corolla about twice as long as the calyx
7. Capsule about as long as the calyx, 6-7 mm long; leaves crenate all round
A. fraseri 2.
7. Capsule about twice the length of the calyx, 10-12 mm long; leaves crenate except near the base
A. halophilum 3.
6. Corolla scarcely longer than the calyx
8. Leaves broadly crenate; capsule shorter than the calyx; seeds glabrous; calyx c. 12 mm long
A. otocarpum 7.
8. Leaves serrate; capsule longer than the calyx; seeds sparsely pubescent; calyx c. 4 mm long
A. macrum 5.

Author: Prepared by J. G. Reid

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