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Electronic Flora of South Australia genus Fact Sheet

Family: Umbelliferae
Eryngium

Citation: L., Sp. Pl. 232 (1753).

Derivation: Greco-Latin eryngion, name of some prickly plant, perhaps of this genus; possibly derived from Greek eryngano, I belch, because the plant was used as a remedy for flatulence.

Synonymy: Not Applicable

Common name: Blue devils (at least for species with blue bracts).

Description:
Glabrous herbs, some tall perennials, rarely shrubs or dwarf trees; leaves narrow or broad, entire, palmately or pinnately lobed, to 3-pinnatisect, often spinose and pungent; inflorescence usually branched; involucre of 3 or more leafy spiny bracts.

Bracteoles small, entire, cuspidate, present at least at outer flowers; flowers bisexual, sessile in hemispherical to cylindrical heads; calyx persistent, of stiff erect often pungent teeth; petals narrow, with a long indexed apex, appearing emarginate at the bend, shorter than the sepals; stamens longer than the corolla, protruding; stylopodium absent.

Fruit ovoid, scarcely laterally compressed, covered with small flat or bladdery scales, obscurely ribbed; carpophore absent; commissure broad or narrow; mericarps semicircular or bluntly 4-angled in cross-section.

Distribution:  About 230 species in tropical and warmer temperate parts of the world; about 7 species in Australia of which 3 are naturalised. (H. Wolff ( 1913) Pflanzenr. 61:47, 106-217; Turmel ( 1948, 1949) Bull. Mus. Hist. Nat. (Paris) sÚr. 2, 20:395-401, 21:120-131.)

Biology: No text

Key to Species:
1. Flowerheads globular to ovoid
 
2. Plants erect; leaves pinnatipartite
 
3. Inflorescence bluish tinged; leaf rhachis narrow; petals fringed
E. rostratum 3.
3. Inflorescence pale-green; leaf rhachis broad; petals entire
E. campestre 1.
2. Plant prostrate; leaves simple, coarsely spiny-toothed; petals fringed
E. vesiculosum 5.
1. Flowerheads oblong-cylindrical; leaves broad-ovate to linear, entire to 3-lobed; petals fringed
 
4. Plants erect; leaves broad-ovate and often 3-lobed; a few leafy bracteoles protruding from the apex of the flowerheads
E. plantagineum 2.
4. Plants procumbent; leaves lanceolate to linear, entire or 3-toothed; apical bracteoles not conspicuously longer than the others
E. supinum 4.

Author: Not yet available


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