Voucher: Haegi 1076. Photo: L. Haegi  L. Haegi

Voucher: Haegi 1828. Photo: L. Haegi  L. Haegi

Line drawing by M. Perkins (from L.Haegi, unpubl. thesis).


Cyphanthera microphylla Miers, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. ser. 2, 11: 381 (1853)

T: interior of south-western Australia, 1849, Drummond 177; holo: K, ADW (photo); iso: MEL.

Anthocercis microphylla F. Muell., Fragm. Phytogr. Austral. 1: 179 (1859), fide Haegi, Telopea 2: 177 (1981).

 T: Salt River, W.A., coll. unknown; holo: MEL 70213; iso: ADW (photo).


Rounded undershrub to 40 cm tall. Branches sparsely pubescent with predominantly simple, glandular and non-glandular hairs, viscid, glabrescent.

 Leaves broadly ovate to narrowly ovate, elliptic or oblong, sessile, 1–2 mm long, 0.6–1 mm wide, sparsely pubescent, viscid; juvenile leaves larger, thick and leathery.

Flowers solitary or in 1–6–flowered cyme-like groups; pedicels 3–10 mm long. Calyx 2–3 mm long, pubescent. Corolla 7–11 mm long, glabrous or sparsely pubescent outside, pubescent inside, white, yellowish in late bud, the striations purple; lobes ovate to broadly ovate, 2.5–6 mm long. Stamens 2–4 mm long.

Capsule ovoid to subglobose, 3.5 mm long. Seeds 1.5–2.7 mm long.

Distribution and ecology

Endemic and moderately widespread in drier parts of south-western W.A.

Usually occurs in sandy soils in mallee or shrubland, often in disturbed habitats; common after fire.



Phylogenetic studies by Garcia & Olmstead (2003) on the Tribe Anthocercideae using two chloroplast DNA regions included this species The studies indicated that Cyphanthera is not monophyletic. Cyphanthers odgersii showed a closer relationship to Grammosolen while the rest of the Cyphanthera species combined to form a clade with Duboisia and Crenidium.

Reference: V.F.Garcia & R.G.Olmstead (2003). Phylogenetics of Tribe Anthocercideaea (Solanaceae) based on ndhF and trnL/F sequence data. Systematic Botany 28: 609-615.

Selected specimens

W.A.: near Amery, T.E.H. Aplin 2572 (PERTH); c. 75 km W of Esperance, Hj. Eichler 20017 (AD, CANB, PERTH); 10 km S of Lake Grace, L. Haegi 1054 (AD, BRI, CANB, MO, PERTH).


Derivation of epithet

From the Greek micro- = small and phyllus = leaf.

Images and information on web

Further images of C. microphylla can be seen on the Western Australia Herbarium Florabase website at

Pharmacology: A discussion of the tropane alkaloids which occur in Cyphanthera and other Anthocercideae can be found in Griffith & Lin (2000).

Ref: W.J. Griffin & G.D. Lin (2000). Chemotaxonomy and geographical distribution of tropane alkaloids. Phytochemistry 53: 627–628.

Plant status (if any)

Without any declared rating in W.A. – see