Description: Herbs, rarely woody at the base, with stems often rooting at nodes; stinging hairs absent; usually dioecious.
Leaves alternate, 2-ranked, base asymmetric, margins regularly toothed; ± sessile; stipules encircling stem.
Flowers in dense axillary heads, receptacle usually ± flat, surrounded by involucral bracts. Male perianth of 4 or 5 distinct segments, stamens 4 or 5, sterile carpel often present, very small. Female perianth minute, segments usually 3, stigma sessile, tufted.
Achene compressed and mostly contracted at the base into a stipe.
Distribution and occurrence: World: 200 species, mainly tropical regions. Australia: 2 species, Qld, N.S.W.
Text by G. J. Harden
| ||Key to the species|| |
|1||Leaves mostly more than 7 cm long; heads more than 8 mm diam., white or yellowish, male peduncle more than 2 cm long, female heads more or less sessile||Elatostema reticulatum|
|Leaves less than 7 cm long, mostly 1–3 cm long; heads c. 5 mm diam., whitish, male peduncle less than 2 cm, female peduncle more than 1 cm||Elatostema stipitatum|