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Genus Olax Family Olacaceae

Description: Shrubs or small trees, mostly glabrous, often with a strong odour, branchlets slightly flexuose.

Leaves usually distichous, yellow-green or pale grey-green, lateral veins obscure; sessile.

Flowers usually solitary, bisexual or unisexual; pedicels short. Calyx short, entire or slightly lobed, persistent as apical collar in fruit. Petals 5 free or united, each with hooked thickening inside at apex, caducous. Stamens 3 fertile; staminodes usually 5, inserted ± opposite petals. Ovary partly immersed in disc, 1-locular or imperfectly 3-locular with 1 ovule per loculus; stigma 3-lobed, subcapitate.

Drupe succulent, exocarp formed by enlarged hypanthium; 1-seeded.


Photo © ANBG

Distribution and occurrence: World: 60 species, tropical Africa, Madagascar, Malesia & Australia. Australia: 11 species (endemic), all mainland States.

Text by C. L. Gardner
Taxon concept:

 Key to the species 
1Apex of leaves obtuse to acute, neither emarginate nor truncate; staminodes simple2
Apex of leaves emarginate or truncate; staminodes bifidOlax retusa
2Branchlets more or less terete; most leaves less than 10 mm long, less than 3 mm wide, linear to narrow-elliptic, apex hooked; corolla less than 5 mm longOlax stricta
Branchlets angular; leaves mostly more than 10 mm long, more than 3 mm wide, elliptic, apex not hooked; corolla more than 5 mm long
                       Back to 1
Olax angulata

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