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Genus Lasiopetalum Family Malvaceae

Description: Shrubs covered with a rusty tomentum.

Leaves simple, mostly entire, sometimes sinuate or rarely shallowly lobed, glabrous or pubescent above, stellate-tomentose below; petiole usually short; stipules absent.

Flowers bisexual in axillary or leaf-opposed cymes, sometimes condensed into heads or racemes. Bracteoles usually present, 3, generally close to the calyx. Calyx mostly 5-lobed, deeply divided, persistent, but not enlarging markedly in fruit. Petals minute. Stamens 5, alternating with the sepals, free or shortly fused at the base, filaments mostly short; anthers opening by terminal pores; staminodes absent. Ovary mostly 3-locular with 2–many ovules in each loculus, tomentose; style simple, usually glabrous.

Capsule shorter than the calyx.


Photo © ANBG

Distribution and occurrence: World: 30–35 species, endemic Australia. Australia: all States except N.T.

Intermediate forms between species are found in some places; great variation occurs between and within varieties of L. ferrugineum.

Text by G. J. Harden
Taxon concept:

 Key to the species 
1Leaves linear to narrrow-oblong or narrow-lanceolate to lanceolate, ususlly >6 times as long as wide; rarely cordate at base; secondary veins usually not prominent on lower surface, except in L. ferrugineum2
Leaves ovate to lanceolate, less than 6 times as long as wide; base mostly cordate; secondary veins obvious on lower surface of leaves, except in some Lasiopetalum ferrugineum var. cordatum6
2Calyx lobes 8–12 mm longLasiopetalum joyceae
Calyx lobes 3–8 mm long
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3
3Calyx lobes glabrous on inner surface, whitish tomentose on outer surface8
Calyx lobes distinctly hairy on both surfaces
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4
4Leaves 2–4 mm wide; secondary veins absent or obscure on lower surface; flowers few in a pedunculate raceme5
Leaves 5–12 mm wide; secondary veins prominent below; cymes dense, many-flowered, nearly sessile
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Lasiopetalum ferrugineum
5Bracteoles more than 2 mm long, 1–1.5 mm wideLasiopetalum rufum
Bracteoles 1–1.5 mm long, 0.5 mm wide
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Lasiopetalum baueri
6Flowers not crowded and spike-like; stamens half as long as calyx, filaments mostly shorter than anthers7
Flowers crowded in 2 one-sided rows on spike-like branches; stamens as long as calyx, filaments at least 3 times as long as anthers
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Lasiopetalum longistamineum
7Calyx segments hairy on both surfacesLasiopetalum ferrugineum
Calyx segments glabrous on inner surface, rusty-tomentose on outer surface
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Lasiopetalum macrophyllum
8Calyx lobes c. 3 mm long; widespread on the coast and adjacent ranges.Lasiopetalum parviflorum
Calyx lobes 3–8 mm long; confined to mallee area in western N.S.W
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Lasiopetalum behrii

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