Common Name: Ballarts
Synonyms: Exocarpus orth. var. Pers. APNI*
Description: Shrubs or trees; branchlets angular to terete, glabrous, pubescent or scabrous.
Leaves alternate, sometimes opposite, persistent or caducous.
Inflorescence of axillary clusters or spikes. Flowers minute, sessile or subsessile, mostly bisexual. Tepals 4 or 5, greenish yellow, free. Stamens often incurved over style. Disc flat and only apparent in male flowers. Ovary conical, superior, fleshy; stigma entire or obscurely lobed.
Fruit a drupe or nut, ± globular, resting on an enlarged, succulent pedicel; exocarp thin, green or brown; tepals persistent or caducous. Host species belong to a wide range of families including FABACEAE, Myrtaceae, Proteaceae and Casuarinaceae.
Distribution and occurrence: World: 26 species, South-East Asia & Pac. Is. Australia: 10 species (9 species endemic), all States. Ballarts
Text by B. Wiecek
Taxa not yet included in identification key
| ||Key to the species|| |
|1||Leaves more than 15 mm wide, obovate to elliptic, several-veined, persistent||Exocarpos latifolius|
|Leaves less than 2 mm wide, scale-like or linear more or less veinless, often caducous||2|
|2||Leaves opposite or almost so, prostrate or low shrubs of high altitudes||Exocarpos nanus|
|Leaves alternate, erect shrubs of low to medium altitudes|
Back to 1
|3||Flowers in elongated spikes; branches not rigid, slender||4|
|Flowers in short clusters or very condensed spikes; branches more or less rigid, sometimes more or less slender|
Back to 2
|4||Leaves linear-subulate 2–10 mm long, apex hooked, more or less persistent; usually a shrub to 4 m high with a weeping crown; bark smooth and pinkish||Exocarpos sparteus|
|Leaves triangular, c. 0.5 mm long, apex not hooked (except on suckering shoots), caducous; shrub or small tree to 8 m high with a rounded or pyramidal crown; bark dark and rough|
Back to 3
|5||Branchlets acutely 2- or 3-angled; leaves linear-subulate, 1–3 mm long||Exocarpos strictus|
|Branches usually terete; leaves ovate, c. 1 mm long|
Back to 3