Common Name: Waxberries
Description: Erect, spreading or prostrate shrubs.
Leaves alternate, penniveined, margins toothed [or entire].
Inflorescences either racemes in upper axils or in terminal groups, or single flowers in similar positions. Flowers 5-merous. Sepals 5, persisting and enlarging in fruit. Corolla 5-lobed, urceolate to campanulate, mostly white; lobes short. Stamens 10, hypogynous, not exserted from tube; anthers 2-lobed, each lobe terminated by 2 erect awns, dehiscing by terminal pores. Ovary 5-locular, ovules several or many in each loculus.
Fruit a loculicidal capsule opening by 5 valves, ± enclosed in the fleshy calyx; seeds numerous, very small.
Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 150 species, tropical, subtropical and temperate regions, especially Malesia & Central & South America. Australia: 4 species (3 species endemic), Qld, N.S.W., Vic., Tas.
Text by J. M. Powell, except for groups with contributors listed
| ||Key to the species|| |
|1||Inflorescences 3–11-flowered racemes, terminal flowers lacking, each flower with 2 bracteoles; calyx becoming white or pinkish in fruit; stems hispid with more or less appressed bristly hairs||Gaultheria appressa|
|Inflorescences 1-flowered, the peduncle with a terminal flower and 4–9 bracteoles; calyx remaining green in fruit; stems glabrous or only slightly bristly||Gaultheria viridicarpa|