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Genus Aotus Family Fabaceae
Subfamily Faboideae

Description: Woody shrubs; stems terete.

Leaves opposite, alternate or in whorls of 3 or more, simple, margins recurved or revolute; stipules absent.

Flowers axillary, solitary or in clusters or rarely in short, terminal racemes; pedicels short; bracts small, ovate, caducous; bracteoles absent. Calyx 5-toothed, the upper 2 broader and ± united into an upper lip. Petals long-clawed; standard ± circular, apex slightly emarginate, longer than the other petals; wings narrow-oblong; keel incurved. Stamens free; anthers dorsifixed. Ovary villous, shortly stipitate; ovules 2, on short, straight funicles; style filiform with a small simple terminal stigma.

Pod ovate or obovate, flat or turgid, usually hairy, 2-valved; seeds 2, reniform, without an aril.


Photo © ANBG

Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 15 species, endemic Australia. Australia: all States except N.T.

Text by B. Wiecek
Taxon concept:

 Key to the species 
1Branches often spinescent; pedicels with more or less sparse, short, curved hairs, not obscuring the surfaceAotus subspinescens
Branches not spinescent; pedicels with dense, often long, spreading to appressed hairs, obscuring the surface2
2Stems with long, soft, spreading hairs and densely tomentose; flowers yellow, 8–15 mm long; apex of leaves acuteAotus lanigera
Stems without long, soft, spreading hairs; flowers yellow with red or purple markings, 5–10 mm long; apex of leaves obtuse to occasionally acute
                       Back to 1
3
3Stems densely velvety-tomentose; upper surface of at least young leaves, pubescentAotus mollis
Stems not velvety-tomentose; upper surface of leaves mostly glabrous or with scattered, long hairs
                       Back to 2
4
4Stems with white, appressed, silky hairs; flowers with standard yellow with a large purple blotch and keel red-purple; leaves narrow-linear to lanceolate, 1–3 mm wideAotus subglauca
Stems with a variable but close, often rusty pubescence; flowers with standard yellow with a reddish or orange blotch and keel yellow; leaves variable, 1–5 mm wide
                       Back to 3
Aotus ericoides

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