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Genus Brachyscome Family Asteraceae

Synonyms: Brachycome APNI*

Description: Annual and perennial herbs or small shrubs.

Leaves in a basal rosette and/or cauline, alternate, entire to pinnatisect.

Inflorescence terminal, heads solitary or in few-flowered corymbs, pedunculate; heads radiate; involucral bracts lanceolate to oblanceolate, herbaceous with scarious margins, imbricate; receptacle hemispherical to conical, naked. Ray florets female, in 1 row, ligulate, white to blue, mauve or pink; style branches without sterile terminal appendages. Disc florets tubular, 5-merous, bisexual, fertile, yellow; anthers obtuse at the base, often with apical appendages; style branches with papillose sterile terminal appendages.

Achenes all similar, terete to flattened, sometimes winged, glabrous to hairy or tuberculate. Pappus of bristles, sometimes fused, short to microscopic or absent.


Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 65 species, Aust, New Zealand, New Guinea. Australia: c. 60 species (endemic), all States. [Brachyscome]

Text by J. Everett
Taxon concept:

 Key to the species 
1Involucral bracts in 2 distinct rows, the outer row obviously shorter than the innerBrachyscome decipiens
Involucral bracts appearing to be in 1 or c. 2 rows of about equal length or inner bracts shorter than the outer2
2Achenes with one or two swollen ridges on each lateral face, the ridges usually entirely swollen, but sometimes only apically swollen and if so the fruit brown or black, never grey or grey-purple; plants never rhizomatous or stoloniferous3
Achenes with or without longitudinal ridges, but if present, then the ridges not swollen (but grey or grey-purple fruit may appear to be apically swollen), often the entire achene manifestly flattened; plants may be rhizomatous or stoloniferous
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15
3Lateral faces of achenes each with a single, entirely or variably swollen, longitudinal ridge which may be winglike, the ridge entire or variously divided (toothed); leaf lobes usually oblong-linear or subterete4
Lateral faces of achenes each with inversely u-shaped ridges, often the faces tuberculate, if the 2 ridges not obvious then the leaf lobes not oblong-linear or sub-terete and the cauline leaves manifestly dilated in c. the lower ¼–½
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8
4Achenes curved, at least apically manifestly bent5
Achenes straight
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7
5Lateral margins of achenes with basal tufts of hairsBrachyscome smithwhitei
Lateral margins of achenes without discrete basal tufts of hairs
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6
6Lateral margins of achenes somewhat swollen and slightly dilating towards the apex, usually entire and with or without several transverse ridges in c. the lower half, rarely with 1 or 2 very shallow teethBrachyscome eriogona
Lateral margins of achenes with prominently lobed wings
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Brachyscome watanabei
7Ray corollas 6–14 mm long, mostly more than 7 mm long; anthers c. 1–1.5 mm long; major branches mostly erectBrachyscome dichromosomatica
Ray corollas 0.8–7.2 mm long, mostly less than 5.5 mm long; anthers c. 0.35–0.75 mm long; major branches mostly decumbent or ascending
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Brachyscome lineariloba
8Achenes with ab/adaxial winglike marginsBrachyscome whitei
Achenes lacking abaxial or adaxial wing-like extensions
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9
9Ray corolla less than 3 mm long; achenes dark brown to black; disc corollas commonly 4-lobedBrachyscome goniocarpa
Ray corolla more than 4 mm long; achenes brown, reddish brown, dark green or black; disc corollas commonly 5-lobed
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10
10Outermost achenes with a prominent crest, at least the lateral faces of the achenes with prominent tuberclesBrachyscome nodosa
Outermost fruit lacking a prominent crest, lateral faces with or without tubercles
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11
11Leaves mostly entire and somewhat linear or mostly 1pinnatisect or a mixture of entire and divided leaves; achenes straight, the pappus centrally placed and the bristles spreadingBrachyscome readeri
Leaves never mostly entire, always mostly lobed to deeply divided (to 2-pinnatisect or rarely 3-pinnatilobed/pinnatisect); achenes barely straight to distinctly curved, the pappus usually appearing off centre and the bristles somewhat spreading or erect
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12
12Leaves mostly 1-pinnatisect and the resulting lobes usually with 3 (–5) apical teeth or short lobes, basally not manifestly dilated; plants glabrous or almost so, scrambling; involucral bracts 4.5–7 mm long (Lord Howe Island)Brachyscome segmentosa
Leaves variably divided and sometimes mostly 1-pinnatisect and toothed or lobed as above but at least some leaves on the plants manifestly dilating towards the base; plants glabrous to extremely hairy, usually erect and not scrambling or if at all so then the involucral bracts 6.5–10.5 mm long (eastern mainland, Bass Strait islands and Tasmania)
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13
13Largest involucral bracts more than 6 mm long, outer surfaces with stalked glandular and/or septate eglandular hairs; achenes almost straight or slightly curvedBrachyscome diversifolia
Largest involucral bracts less than 5 mm long, outer surfaces glabrous or with a scattered or dense indumentum of stalked glandular hairs; achenes distinctly curved
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14
14Achenes 1.1–2.2 mm long, red-brown or black; apically the longitudinal ridges usually broadening to form prominent shouldersBrachyscome gracilis
Achenes 2.2–2.7 mm long, pale yellow-brown; apically the two longitudinal ridges on each surface often indistinct, appearing as one, and not forming prominent shoulders
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Brachyscome casstiana
15Pappus an entire ringBrachyscome paludicola
Pappus absent, or a jagged crown
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16
16Achenes with sometimes the uppermost part glabrous but otherwise manifestly hairy, with the hairs straight and obscuring the surface of the fruitBrachyscome exilis
Achenes not or sparsely hairy, if with many hairs, then the majority of the fruit surface is clearly visible, and hairs rarely straight
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17
17Ray corolla yellow (at least in bud) or if white then either, the majority of mature leaves terminally 3-lobed or the achenes with strongly curved abaxial or adaxial wings and lacking longitudinal ridges on the lateral faces [B. dentata group]18
Ray corolla not yellow but white, bluish or pinkish; terminally 3-lobed leaves absent or in the minority; achenes lacking strongly curved abaxial or adaxial wings or if they are present then the lateral faces with longitudinal ridges
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22
18Expanded ray corolla yellow when freshBrachyscome chrysoglossa
Expanded ray corolla white or mostly white when fresh, may dry yellow
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19
Achenes strongly curved
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Brachyscome curvicarpa
Achenes flat or almost so
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28
20Annual; leaves with long, coarse, eglandular, whitish, septate hairs; achenes with or without winglike marginsBrachyscome debilis
Perennial or annual; leaves if with eglandular hairs then the hairs cottony (but may have coarse bases); achenes always with wing-like margins
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21
21Achene margins dissected; body of fruit covered with somewhat conical tubercles, rarely at all scale-likeBrachyscome dentata
Achene margins mostly entire; body of fruit densely covered with rows of flat, scale-like tubercles
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Brachyscome papillosa
22Achenes manifestly compressed and with wing-like margins, uniformly coloured or colour gradually changing, lateral faces lacking longitudinal ridges, monomorphic; anthers with a well-developed terminal appendage23
Achenes variously shaped and coloured and sometimes dimorphic, if compressed and with wing-like margins then the achenes discolorous (e.g. fruit body brown, winglike margins yellowish) or with longitudinal ridges or the terminal anther appendage absent or poorly developed
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25
23Leaves mostly basal and persistentBrachyscome spathulata
Leaves mostly cauline, basal ones usually not persistent
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24
24Ray corolla blue; achene apically truncate or almost soBrachyscome ascendens
Ray corolla white or white above and bluish beneath; achene with an apical notch
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Brachyscome aculeata
25Achenes both flat and thin, with longitudinal ridges and with abaxial or adaxial wings, plants stoloniferous and scapiform (in alpine habitats above the tree line) or achenes as stated but the wings inflated and plants creeping (in non-alpine marshy habitats26
Achenes not both flat and thin, lacking longitudinal ridges and adaxial or abaxial wings, or if with longitudinal ridges and adaxial or abaxial wings then wings not inflated and plants non-alpine (but may occur in temperate upland forest)
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29
26Abaxial or adaxial margins of achenes an inflated wingBrachyscome radicans
Abaxial or adaxial margins of achenes a thin wing
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27
27Leaves entire or mostly so28
Leaves all or mostly toothed or lobed
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Brachyscome nivalis
28Peduncles with stalked glandular hairsBrachyscome barkerae
Peduncles glabrous
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29
29Peduncles 1–7 cm long, ebracteate or with a single (?2) bract(s); achenes not or barely wingedBrachyscome stolonifera
Peduncles 7–22 cm long, usually with more than one bract (up to 7); wings of achene 0.5–0.7 mm wide
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Brachyscome tadgellii
30Achenes with prominently curved wings or wing-like abaxial or adaxial margins and with longitudinal ridges on the lateral faces31
Achenes lacking curved wings or winglike margins or if present then the lateral faces lacking longitudinal ridges
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32
31Leaves entire or mostly so, sometimes a few with several short, linear, irregularly placed lobes; achenes more or less uniformly brown throughout, the wings strongly curvedBrachyscome muelleroides
Leaves in at least large plants with mostly pinnatisect leaves with 4–11 narrowly elliptic or linear lobes; achenes discolorous, body dark brown, wings almost flat to manifestly curved and yellow-brown
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Brachyscome ptychocarpa
32Achenes lacking eglandular hairs or with a few straight hairs; achenes concolorous and lacking longitudinal ridges [Paquerina group]33
Achenes with curved or apically curled eglandular hairs, if straight and apically bifid then the achenes with longitudinal ridges; achenes concolorous or discolorous
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39
33Most or all leaves entire34
Most or all of the largest leaves at least partly toothed or lobed (smaller upper leaves on scapes may be entire)
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36
34Achenes somewhat inflated, particularly on the margins and with conspicuous glandular hairs and commonly stickyBrachyscome graminea
Achenes neither inflated or sticky
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35
35Leaves linear or linear-oblanceolate, 1–2.5 mm wide; scapes each with (2) 3–9 leaflike bracts; pappus a crown of scalelike bristles 0.1–0.3 mm long; remains of old leaves usually not retained at base of plantBrachyscome obovata
Leaves oblanceolate or subspathulate, largest leaves 4–12 mm wide; scapes each usually with 0–3 leaflike bracts, rarely more; pappus a crown of scalelike bristles barely 0.1 mm high; remains of old leaves retained at base of plant
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Brachyscome scapigera
36Achenes brown or purplish brown at maturity Brachyscome tenuiscapa
Achenes blackish at maturity
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37
37Scapes with 3–16 oblanceolate, entire or pinnatilobed leavesBrachyscome foliosa
Scapes with or without 1 or 2 entire, linear leaves
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Brachyscome staceae
38Mature achenes commonly black or sometimes very dark brown, concolorous; lateral faces manifestly tuberculate and lacking longitudinal ridges or if ridges present then plants only with leaves in a basal tuft; achenes never dimorphic39
Mature achenes shades of brown and commonly pale brown, sometimes markedly discolorous; lateral faces with or without tubercles, longitudinal ridges present or absent; achenes sometimes dimorphic
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49
39Perennials with a tufted mode of growth, all leaves basal; achenes winged or unwinged, with longitudinal ridges40
Annual or perennial herbs or subshrubs, leaves basal and cauline; achenes unwinged, with or (usually) without longitudinal ridges
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41
40Achenes with a distinct wing with eglandular, straight to apically curling hairs along their length; pappus distinct; leaves entire or 1-pinnatifid; bracts frequently with purplish apices and margins; at least sometimes the apical appendages of the anthers not or poorly developed and less than c. 0.1 mm long and the style appendages c. 0.5 mm longBrachyscome dissectifolia
Achenes unwinged or nearly so, ab/adaxial margins smooth or with several barely formed tubercles, glabrous or with occasional short hairs; pappus usually very short; leaves mostly 1or 2pinnatifid; bracts usually with whitish apices and margins; apical appendages of the anthers seemingly always prominent and c. 0.3 mm long and the style appendages c. 0.25 mm and apically somewhat blunt
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Brachyscome stuartii
41Achenes with longitudinal ridges; annual, glandular hairy herbBrachyscome microcarpa
Achenes lacking longitudinal ridges; annual or perennial herbs or subshrubs with or without stalked glandular hairs
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42
42Perennial herb or subshrub with somewhat woody base, mostly glabrous or with only glandular hairs; leaves linear and entire or with linear lobes or the lamina wide and variously dissected, being 1-or 2-pinnatifid; bract surface glabrous, glandular hairs restricted to marginsBrachyscome multifida
Perennial or annual herbs, never a woody based subshrub, hairs glandular or eglandular, leaves variously dissected but the teeth or lobes rarely extending more than c. ½ way to the midrib and only rarely with secondary teeth, the lobes never linear or leaves deeply divided and mostly trisect; bract surfaces glabrous or more commonly with a scattered to dense indumentum of hairs
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43
43Herb with a general indumentum of septate, uniseriate eglandular hairs to 0.6 mm long and stalked glandular hairs; pappus readily discernable, individual elements c. 0.1–1.1 mm long (arid and semiarid regions, commonly on clay dominated soils on floodplains)Brachyscome melanocarpa
Herbs with a scattered to dense general indumentum of stalked glandular hairs, eglandular septate hairs absent or if appearing to be present then in a mix of hairs of manifestly different lengths; pappus elements less than 0.1 mm long and/or uppermost leaves opposite
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44
44Leaves mainly of 3, rarely 5, primary lobes terminating petiole-like stalks c. 5–30 mm long, primary lobes 2.5–12 mm long, 1.5–16 mm wide, formed by divisions extending to about the midrib, major lobes in turn trisect and these often 3-toothedBrachyscome trisecta
Leaves not as above
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45
45Uppermost leaves pairedBrachyscome microcarpa
Uppermost leaves alternate
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46
46Pappus a crown, individual elements 0.2–0.4 mm long; bracts with or without scattered hairs (branches weakly ascending, leaves thin and not rigid; south-eastern N.S.W.)Brachyscome abercrombiensis
Pappus absent or at least a very short crown, the elements less than 0.1 mm long; bracts often with numerous hairs (branches and leaves comparatively rigid; north-eastern N.S.W. and south-eastern Qld)
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47
47General indumentum occasionally sparse but mostly dense, the stalked glandular hairs c. 0.06–0.88 mm long, the hairs barely to manifestly tapering to their minute glandular tip, sometimes the longest hairs possibly eglandular, usually the hairs in an obvious mix of lengths and with the longest hairs often conspicuously longer than the rest; achenes not somewhat swollen, eglandular biseriate hairs absent or scattered and seemingly straight and c. 0.05 mm longBrachyscome nova-anglica
General indumentum of shortly stalked glandular hairs 0.04–0.12 mm long but grading in length; achenes somewhat swollen, eglandular biseriate hairs c. 0.05–0.08 mm long and apically curled
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Brachyscome tamworthensis
48Achenes mono- or dimorphic, lacking longitudinal ridges on the lateral faces or if present a shrubby central Australian species (Brachyscome tesquorum) and the major branches with corky base; terminal anther appendages distinct in some species but absent or poorly developed in others49
Achenes monomorphic, with longitudinal ridges on the lateral faces; terminal anther appendages present
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52
49Achenes monomorphic50
Achenes dimorphic
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Brachyscome ciliaris
50Perennial herb or subshrubs51
Annual herb
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Brachyscome perpusilla
51Achenes with their lateral surfaces tuberculate52
Achenes with their lateral surfaces non-tuberculate (but eglandular hairs may be conspicuous)
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Brachyscome dalbyensis
52Pappus of minute fused teethBrachyscome trachycarpa
Pappus of a tuft of unequal hairs c. 0.2mm long
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Brachyscome rigidula
53Largest lower and mid-cauline leaves not tapering towards a petiole like base but manifestly sessile and often subamplexicaul, their apices usually truncate and 3denate, the teeth small and of about equal size, the leaves usually otherwise entire but sometimes 1 or both margins with 1 or 2 additional narrow lateral teeth or lobes presentBrachyscome mittagongensis
Largest lower and mid-cauline leaves commonly tapering basally and forming a petiole-like base; if not forming a petiole-like base then their apices not both truncate and 3dentate although they may be apically 3lobed, but if 3lobed then either additional marginal lobes present on at least some leaves or most leaves entire
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54
54Basal and cauline leaves mostly entire, sublinear to linear oblanceolate or linear spathulate and frequently and markedly contracting to a petiole like base, rarely 1–several leaves with 1–5 lobes; ab/adaxial margins of achene with narrow but definite wings 0.1–0.4 mm wideBrachyscome triloba
Basal to mid-cauline leaves all, or mostly all, with teeth or lobes, or if most or all basal and mid-cauline leaves entire (at least as in some plants of B. kaputarensis) the leaves somewhat linear or linear oblanceolate and lacking a distinctive contraction to form a petiole-like base and the achenes lacking ab/ adaxial wings
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55
55Achenes with the ab/adaxial margins bearing wings, the wings divided or entire and with eglandular hairs along their length55
Achenes with the abaxial or adaxial margins lacking wings but the margins may have tubercles (includes B. willisii in which the prominent tuberculate margins may be interpreted as wings)
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58
56Achene body smooth or with inconspicuous tubercles, brown or dark greenish brown or greenish black and darker than the wings, the longitudinal ridges on the lateral surfaces often poorly developed; achene wings 0.2–0.8 mm wide, entire or notchedBrachyscome procumbens
Achene body with well-developed tubercles, yellow-brown or brown and apically sometimes purplish but not manifestly darker than the wings, the longitudinal ridges on the lateral surfaces distinct and sometimes flangelike; achene wings barely 0.1 mm wide or up to 0.5 mm wide
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57
57Leaves with 1–5, usually apically acute lobes, most often with only 3 apical lobes of which the terminal lobe is usually manifestly larger than the lateral lobesBrachyscome triloba
Leaves sometimes trifid but mostly with a total of 5–14 teeth or lobes
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Brachyscome salkiniae
58Mid to upper cauline leaves entire and somewhat linear or linear oblanceolate or with 1–6 lateral lobes, the divisions extending more than ½ way and sometimes almost reaching the midrib and the terminal lobes somewhat linear; branches and leaves lacking eglandular hairsBrachyscome kaputarensis
Mid to upper cauline leaves shallowly lobed or at least the lobes never long and somewhat linear; branches and leaves with or without eglandular hairs
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58
59Leaves only sometimes with a petiole-like base, sometimes subamplexicaule, at least in the larger leaves the segments present along most of the length of the leaf (Victoria)Brachyscome petrophila
Leaves commonly with a petiole like base, lateral segments usually in the distal ½ of the leaf (but distal ¾ in B. sieberi from NSW)
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60
60Whitish, septate eglandular hairs absent from branches and leaves61
Whitish, septate eglandular hairs on branches and leaves (may be sparse on mature parts)
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62
61Stalked glandular hairs usually forming a prominent indumentum beneath the capitula; mid-cauline leaves entire or with 6 or fewer segmentsBrachyscome brownii
Stalked glandular hairs absent or only occasional throughout the plant; mid-cauline leaves with 5–19 segments
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Brachyscome formosa
62Mid-cauline and upper leaves often apically 3-lobed but up to 9 marginal lobes formed from divisions extending to c. ½ the distance to the midrib, lobes entire and apically acuteBrachyscome sieberi
Mid-cauline and upper leaves with 3–11 primary marginal lobes formed from divisions extending c. ¼ to ⅞ the distance to the midrib, the resultant lobes obtuse to acute and each often with 1 or 2 lateral teeth
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Brachyscome willisii

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