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Genus Centrolepis Family Centrolepidaceae

Description: Small tufted annual or cushion-forming perennial herbs.

Leaves linear, innermost usually reduced to a short membranous glabrous sheath.

Scapes erect and leafless or scape absent; inflorescence a terminal cymose head enclosed by 2 primary bracts; bracts with dilated sheathing bases, unequal, glume-like; each bract enclosing 1–numerous pseudanthia; pseudanthia each consisting of 1–30 ± fused female flowers superimposed in 1 or 2 rows, styles usually fused at base, usually with 1 male flower at base; secondary bracts 2 or 3 per pseudanthium or absent, veinless, hyaline or scarious.

Infructescence compound, dry, membranous; each follicle 1-seeded, dehiscing by an outer slit; seed ovoid to fusiform.


Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 25 spp., Aust., N.Z., Malesia. Aust.: 20 spp. (19 spp. endemic), all States.

Treatment based on Cooke (1992).

Text by E. A. Brown
Taxon concept:

 Key to the species 
1Multicellular hairs present on leaves, at least near the base2
Multicellular hairs absent (plants completely glabrous or rarely with scattered microscopic papillae)3
2Perennial; primary bracts with sheath tapering to leaf-like apex c. 2 mm long; each pseudanthium with 2–4 female flowersCentrolepis fascicularis
Annual; primary bracts with sheath abruptly contracted into a mucro c. 0.5 mm long; each pseudanthium with 4–7 female flowers
                       Back to 1
Centrolepis strigosa
3Leaves distichous; both bracts of the head with long leaf-like laminasCentrolepis aristata
Leaves not distichous; only outer bract with a leaf-like lamina
                       Back to 1
4
4Pseudanthia 1–3 per headCentrolepis polygyna
Pseudanthia usually 4–10 per head (rarely 3)
                       Back to 3
5
5Leaf lamina straight, lax; bract lamina no longer than the head; plant softly herbaceousCentrolepis glabra
Leaf lamina recurved, rigid; bract lamina longer than the head; leaves wiry; bract bases hardened
                       Back to 4
Centrolepis eremica

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