Description: Small tufted perennial herbs, much branched from base.
Leaves sessile, imbricate, narrow-linear to triangular, sometimes rigid and pungent or ending in a fine hair.
Flowers bisexual, solitary, on slender or thickened pedicels. Sepals 5, free, acute to obtuse. Petals absent. Stamens usually 5, alternating with sepals. Ovary 1-locular; styles 5.
Capsule as long as or longer than calyx, opening by 5 obtuse teeth; seeds ovoid to globose, numerous.
Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 20 species, chiefly in the mountainous and southern regions of South America, New Zealand, & Australia. Australia: 4 species (endemic), Qld, N.S.W., Vic., Tas., S.A., W.A.
Text by A. Doust
| ||Key to the species|| |
|1||Leaves less than 6 mm long, narrow-triangular to lanceolate, rigid, spreading or suberect||2|
|Leaves more than 10 mm long, linear, soft, grass-like, often recurved, somewhat flaccid||3|
|2||Leaves spreading, channelled above, convex below; with thickened margins, a prominently keeled midrib and a pungent apex; pedicels 1–2 mm long, thickened, shorter than calyx||Colobanthus pulvinatus|
|Leaves suberect with flat margins, a flattened midrib and an acicular but not pungent-pointed apex; pedicels slender, 3–10 mm long, at least as long as calyx|
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|3||Capsules c. 4 mm long, longer than the calyx; pedicel 25–60 mm long; sepals broad-triangular, obtuse to subacute, c. 3 mm long||Colobanthus affinis|
|Capsules c. 3 mm long, as long as the calyx; pedicel usually 8–12 mm long; sepals acuminate, 2.5–4 mm long|
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