Description: Much-branched rigid shrubs, with opposite, spreading, usually spiny branchlets.
Leaves opposite, small, generally falling early.
Flowers clustered, often in short raceme-like shoots, in axils of leaves or leaf scars on main stems below spines, occasionally on small axillary shoots; flowers small, pedicellate, subtended by bracts and bracteoles. Hypanthium cupular, short, spreading above the disc. Sepals 4 or 5, spreading. Petals absent or hooded but not covering the anthers, inserted with stamens at the base of sepals.
Capsule 3-lobed, the upper part falling, the lower expanded disc-like base with the spreading hypanthium persisting on the plant.
Distribution and occurrence: World: 8 species, South America, New Zealand & Australia. Australia: 2 species, Qld, N.S.W., Vic., Tas.
Text by G. J. Harden
| ||Key to the species|| |
|1||Spines usually more than 20 mm long, regularly formed at all nodes; leaves shed early, plant dominated by spines; petals present||Discaria pubescens|
|Spines generally c. 10 mm long, often scattered; leaves usually persistent so that the plant appears leafy; petals absent||Discaria nitida|