Description: Erect multistemmed shrubs to large trees; bark texture and colour variable on main stem, branchlets rounded, compressed or 4-angled.
Leaves usually opposite, petiolate.
Inflorescence a single flower, or raceme-like or panicle-like. Flowers 4- or 5-merous. Hypanthium not extending beyond the ovary summit. Sepals mostly persistent in fruit and held above the body of the fruit. Petals free. Stamens numerous, free. Ovary inferior, 2-locular; ovules few to many in each loculus; placentation axile; stigma small.
Fruit a soft berry, yellow-orange or reddish, or more usually dark purple to black at maturity; seeds usually 2–10, not obviously arranged in rows, testa bony to leathery; embryo curved, cotyledons small.
Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 35 spp., Malesia to N.Cal., Fiji, Aust. Aust.: c. 16 spp. (endemic), Qld, N.S.W.
Text by Peter G. Wilson
| ||Key to the species|| |
|1||Flowers predominantly 5-merous; mature fruit black.||2|
|Flowers 4-merous; fruit yellow to orange.||Gossia fragrantissima|
|2||Bark smooth; leaves mostly ovate or broad-elliptic, apex acute or acuminate with a fine point.||3|
|Bark more or less rough; leaves mostly elliptic, apex acuminate with a rounded apex.|
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|3||Oil glands on upper leaf surface densely crowded, readily visible; sepals petaloid.||Gossia bidwillii|
|Oil glands on upper leaf not crowded; sepals not petaloid.|
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|4||Leaves lacking conspicuous oil glands on lower surface; flowers hairy.||Gossia hillii|
|Leaves with conspicuous oil glands on lower surface; flowers very finely pubescent to glabrous.|
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