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Genus Bertya Family Euphorbiaceae

Description: Monoecious shrubs; often resinous, stellate-tomentose or glabrous.

Leaves mostly alternate, margins recurved, revolute or flat; mostly shortly petiolate; stipules absent.

Flowers axillary, usually solitary, pedunculate or almost sessile, with 2–10 basal bracts, persistent or shed early. Perianth usually of 4 or 5 petaloid segments, imbricate. Male flowers with numerous stamens, filaments fused to form a column. Female perianth segments usually smaller and narrower than the male segments, sometimes enlarged around the fruit; ovary 3-locular, 1 ovule in each loculus; styles mostly 3, branched.

Capsule usually 1-seeded by abortion; seed oblong, smooth, carunculate.


Photo © ANBG

Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 25 species, endemic Australia. Australia: Qld, N.S.W., Vic.

Text by T. A. James & G. J. Harden
Taxon concept:

Taxa not yet included in identification key
Bertya sp. Chambigne NR (M. Fatemi 24),    Bertya sp. Clouds Creek (M. Fatemi 4)

 Key to the species 
1Leaves 1–4 mm wide, margins recurved to revolute2
Leaves mostly more than 4 mm wide, margins recurved or flat13
2Stellate hairs present, particularly on young growth and lower surface of leaves3
Entire plant glabrous or nearly so
                       Back to 1
12
3Ovary sparsely hairy to glabrous; capsule glabrous4
Ovary densely hairy; capsule hairy, sometimes more or less glabrous with age
                       Back to 2
6
4Leaves linear, margins revolute to midrib5
Leaves linear-lanceolate, margins recurved, but not to the midrib. Narrow-leaved form
                       Back to 3
Bertya pomaderroides
5Fruiting perianth not enlarged; calyx more or less equal to half the length of the capsuleBertya linearifolia
Fruiting perianth enlarged, enclosing the capsule
                       Back to 4
Bertya gummifera
6Leaves strongly revolute, 0.5–2 mm wide; midrib more or less concealed on lower surface7
Leaves recurved to revolute, mostly 2–4 mm wide; midrib clearly visible on lower surface
                       Back to 3
8
7Flowers small, female perianth 3–4 mm long; leaves 0.5–1.5 mm wide, lower surface whitish tomentoseBertya rosmarinifolia
Flowers larger, female perianth 4–6 mm long; leaves mostly 2 mm wide, lower surface mostly yellow-brown to greyish tomentose
                       Back to 6
Bertya tasmanica
8Lower surface of leaves with a dense tomentum of fine short, or stellate hairs; female perianth segments mostly glabrous adaxially9
Lower surface of leaves with a medium covering of larger hairs (individual hairs easily seen); female perianth segments tomentose
                       Back to 6
Bertya mollissima
9Leaves linear to oblong or narrow-obovate, usually less than 30 mm long; flowers on peduncles10
Leaves linear to oblanceolate or narrow-elliptic, 10–60 mm long; flowers more or less sessile
                       Back to 8
11
10Plant viscid, with marginal glands at the base of, and either side of the midribBertya oblonga
Plant not viscid, glands absent
                       Back to 9
Bertya riparia
11Leaves 10–60 mm long, margins recurved to revolute; female perianth segments much enlarged under fruit, not distinctly fused below the middleBertya oleifolia
Leaves 10–35 mm long, margins recurved; female perianth segments not enlarged under fruit, distinctly fused below the middle
                       Back to 9
Bertya ingramii
12Fruiting perianth much enlarged, enclosing the capsule; leaves c. 2 mm wide, 10–30 mm long; flowers almost sessileBertya glandulosa
Fruiting perianth not enlarged; leaves c. 1 mm wide, 10–20 mm long; flowers on peduncles 1–2 mm long
                       Back to 2
Bertya cunninghamii
13Capsule glabrous or with scattered stellate hairs at first and then becoming glabrous; leaves flat or margins slightly recurved14
Capsule with persistent hairs; margins of leaves recurved to revolute
                       Back to 1
17
14Flowers on stout peduncles 3–5 mm long; leaves mostly 4–8 mm wideBertya findlayi
Flowers on slender peduncles or sessile; leaves mostly 4–25 mm wide
                       Back to 13
15
15Flowers on slender peduncles 5–25 mm long; leaves mostly 4–15 mm long16
Flowers sessile; leaves mostly 4–25 mm long
                       Back to 14
Bertya opponens
16Leaves 10–50 mm long, 5–15 mm wide, margins flat, finely sinuate; entire plant covered with persistent loose tomentum of rusty-stellate, mostly stalked hairs; ovary densely tomentoseBertya brownii
Leaves mostly 10–30 mm long, 3–12 mm wide, margins flat or slightly recurved; plants with a covering of denser, whitish to rusty, more or less sessile, stellate hairs, often becoming glabrous; ovary glabrous
                       Back to 15
Bertya pomaderroides
17Leaves mostly opposite; ovary and capsule densely villous; bracts 4, rarely 6, perianth segments mostly 4Bertya opponens
Leaves alternate; ovary and capsule with medium-dense covering of shorter hairs; bracts 5–8, perianth segments 5
                       Back to 13
18
18Fruiting perianth much enlarged, c. 8 mm long, at least as long as capsule; leaves oblong to oblanceolate or narrow-elliptic, 10–60 mm long, 3–7 mm wide; perianth mostly glabrous, resinousBertya oleifolia
Fruiting perianth not enlarged, 2–3 mm long, shorter than capsule; leaves oblong, 5–20 mm long, 2–5 mm wide; perianth usually hairy
                       Back to 17
Bertya mollissima

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