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Genus Backhousia Family Myrtaceae

Description: Trees or shrubs.

Leaves opposite, venation obvious, petiolate.

Inflorescences axillary or terminal, variable. Flowers 4- or 5-merous. Sepals often prominent, sometimes petaloid, persistent in fruit. Petals usually shorter than sepals, persistent in fruit. Stamens numerous, free in several whorls; anthers versatile. Ovary half-inferior, 2-locular; ovules few, arranged in a U-shape on an axile placenta; style long, stigma not dilated.

Fruit indehiscent or rarely schizocarpic, thin-walled; seeds depressed-ovoid, usually only 1 or 2 per fruit.


Distribution and occurrence: World: 8 species, endemic Australia. Australia: Qld, N.S.W.

B. citriodora F. Muell., the Lemon Ironwood, is often cultivated as an ornamental tree; its leaves are strongly lemon-scented when crushed.

Text by Peter G. Wilson
Taxon concept:

Taxa not yet included in identification key
Backhousia angustifolia

 Key to the species 
1Leaves with acuminate apex, intramarginal vein very close to margin; branchlets hairy; sepals >5 mm long, yellowish and petaloid, triangular to lanceolate.Backhousia myrtifolia
Leaves with obtuse apex, intramarginal vein away from margin; branchlets not conspicuously hairy; sepals <3 mm long, not markedly petaloid, rounded to shortly triangular.Backhousia sciadophora

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