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Genus Olearia Family Asteraceae

Description: Shrubs or rarely trees, glabrous or hairy.

Leaves alternate or opposite, scattered or crowded or clustered, lamina simple, margins entire or toothed; sessile or petiolate.

Heads axillary or terminal, sessile or pedunculate, solitary or in corymbose or paniculate conflorescences; heads broad-hemispherical to narrow-ovoid; involucral bracts imbricate in several series, herbaceous with scarious margins; receptacle pitted, the borders of the pits often finely toothed, lacking scales. Ray florets 1-seriate, female, ligulate or slender and filiform (rarely absent). Disc florets numerous or few, bisexual; corolla tubular. Anthers acute, obtuse or caudate basally. Style branches flattened with short, thick appendages above stigmatic lines.

Achenes striate, terete or slightly compressed, glabrous or variously hairy; pappus of numerous, usually unequal bristles.


Flower
Photo D. Hardin

Distribution and occurrence: World: 180 species, Australia, New Zealand, New Guinea. Australia: 130 species (endemic), all States.

Text by N. S. Lander
Taxon concept:

 Key to the species 
1Growing on Lord Howe Island2
Growing on mainland NSW3
2Leaves linear, 5–12 mm long, 0.5–1.5 mm wideOlearia ballii
Leaves narrowly- to broadly-elliptic to obovate, 40–100 mm long, 1.5–3.5 mm wide
                       Back to 1
Olearia mooneyi
3Leaves sessile or subsessile4
Leaves petiolate
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38
4Leaves with margins flat5
Leaves with margins weakly to strongly revolute
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16
5Leaves with venation indistinct, apart from midvein6
Leaves with venation distinctly reticulate or pinnate
                       Back to 4
14
6Leaves viscid on upper surface7
Leaves not viscid on upper surface
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10
7Leaves discolorousOlearia viscidula
Leaves concolorous
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8
8Leaves cuneate; apex truncate, 3-lobedOlearia rhizomatica
Leaves linear or oblanceolate; apex acute or rounded
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9
9Leaves linear; heads solitary or clustered; pappus 1- seriateOlearia passerinoides
Leaves oblanceolate; heads in panicles; pappus 2- seriate
                       Back to 8
Olearia decurrens
10Leaves flat; heads solitary12
Leaves conduplicate; heads in compound corymbs or leafy panicles
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11
11Growing at high altitude in the southern tablelands of NSWOlearia brevipedunculata
Growing in the western districts of NSW
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12
12Disc florets ± 18; pappus 1-seriate, bristles ± 50Olearia muelleri
Disc florets ± 21; pappus 2-seriate, bristles ± 74
                       Back to 11
Olearia calcarea
13Leaves without a mucro; heads in compound corymbs; disc florets yellowOlearia glandulosa
Leaves mucronate; heads in leafy panicles; disc florets pink
                       Back to
Olearia suffruticosa
14Leaves discolorous; ray florets ± 30; disc florets ± 2015
Leaves concolorous; ray florets ± 39; disc florets ± 86
                       Back to 5
Olearia rudis
15Ray florets 8–15; disc florets 7–16; pappus bristles ± 43Olearia canescens
Ray florets 16–30; disc florets 15–20; pappus bristles ± 44
                       Back to 14
Olearia phlogopappa
16Leaves with venation distinctly reticulateOlearia rosmarinifolia
Leaves with venation indistinct, apart from midvein
                       Back to 4
17
17Leaves viscid on upper surfaceOlearia iodochroa
Leaves not viscid on upper surface
                       Back to 16
18
18Leaves discolorous19
Leaves concolorous
                       Back to 17
34
19Disc florets blue or mauveOlearia ramosissima
Disc florets cream or yellow
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20
20Heads axillary21
Heads terminal
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26
21Leaves grey-woolly or minutely tuberculate on upper surface22
Leaves glabrous or subglabrous on upper surface
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25
22Leaves grey-woolly, peduncles ± 3 mm longOlearia axillaris
Leaves minutely tuberculate, peduncles ± 14 mm long
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Olearia ramulosa
23Heads pedunculate; lamina linear or obovate24
Heads sessile; lamina elliptic or narrow-obovate
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Olearia algida
24Leaves usually only in the upper 1/2 of the shrub creating a crowded effect, 40–80 mm longOlearia stenophylla
Leaves linear or obovate, 5–20 mm long
                       Back to 23
Olearia subspicata
25Leaves scattered, lamina linear or obovate, ± 5 mm long; heads pedunculateOlearia subspicata
Leaves crowded, lamina elliptic or narrow-obovate ± 3 mm long; heads sessile
                       Back to 21
Olearia algida
26Leaves tuberculate on upper surface27
Leaves not tuberculate
                       Back to 20
29
27Heads ± 22 mm in diam.; disc florets blue or yellowOlearia ramsissima
Heads ± 20 mm in diam.; disc florets yellow
                       Back to 26
23
28Leaves narrow- to broad-spathulateOlearia microphylla
Leaves linear, narrow-elliptic or narrow-obovate
                       Back to
Olearia ramulosa
29Leaves stellate-hairyOlearia asterotricha
Leaves not stellate-hairy
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30
30Heads distinctly pedunculate31
Heads sessile or subsessile
                       Back to 29
32
31Disc florets ± 10Olearia burgessii
Disc florets ± 14
                       Back to 30
Olearia pimeleoides
32Achenes not glandularOlearia floribunda
Achenes glandular
                       Back to 30
33
33Leaves clustered, ± 0.8 mm wideOlearia lepidophylla
Leaves scattered, ± 1 mm wide
                       Back to 32
Olearia minor
34Leaves narrow-elliptic to narrow-obovate or cuneate, glabrous to subglabrous or tomentose35
Leaves linear, glandular or finely pubescent
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36
35Leaves glabrous to subglabrous; achenes glabrous or subglabrousOlearia magniflora
Leaves tomentose; achenes silky and glandular
                       Back to 34
Olearia incana
36Ray florets ± 18; disc florets ± 3537
Ray florets ± 30; disc florets ± 39
                       Back to 34
Olearia flocktoniae
37Disc florets ± 33; pappus with an outer row of short bristlesOlearia tenuifolia
Disc florets ± 33; pappus without an outer row of short bristles
                       Back to 36
Olearia cordata
38Leaves alternate39
Leaves opposite
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56
39Leaves viscid on upper surfaceOlearia elliptica
Leaves not viscid on upper surface
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40
40Pappus bristles pinkOlearia myrsinoides
Pappus bristles white or straw-coloured
                       Back to 39
41
41Leaves with venation reticulate or indistinct apart from midvein42
Leaves with venation pinnate
                       Back to 40
52
42Heads axillaryOlearia quercifolia
Heads terminal
                       Back to 41
43
43Disc florets purpleOlearia montana
Disc florets cream or yellow
                       Back to 42
44
44Heads ± 40 mm in diamOlearia stilwelliae
Heads ± 32 mm in diam
                       Back to 43
45
45Heads solitary or clustered46
Heads in panicles or corymbs
                       Back to 44
47
46Ray florets ± 15; pappus 2-seriateOlearia lasiophylla
Ray florets ± 16; pappus multiseriate
                       Back to 45
Olearia phlogopappa
47Heads in corymbs48
Heads in panicles
                       Back to 45
51
48Heads sessileOlearia oliganthema
Heads pedunculate
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49
49Ray achenes minutely strigose; disc achenes densely glandular; pappus bristles 30–36Olearia heterocarpa
Ray and disc achenes glabrous; pappus bristles 26–80
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50
50Leaves minutely silver-tomentose on lower surface; pappus bristles ± 44Olearia argophylla
Leaves beige-tomentose on lower surface; pappus bristles ± 50
                       Back to 49
Olearia megalophylla
51Disc florets cream to yellow; achenes silky; pappus with an outer row of short bristlesOlearia lirata
Disc florets yellow; achenes glabrous; pappus without an outer row of short bristles
                       Back to 47
Olearia erubescens
52Leaves grey-pubescent on upper surfaceOlearia gravis
Leaves glabrous or subglabrous on upper surface
                       Back to 41
53
53Leaves silver-felted on lower surface; pappus without an outer row of short bristlesOlearia cydoniifolia
Leaves brown-, beige- or grey-felted on lower surface; pappus with an outer row of short bristles
                       Back to 52
54
54Leaves lanceolate, margins mostly entire but sometimes sinuate and serrate, peduncles <15 mm longOlearia lirata
Leaves other than lanceolate, margins various, peduncles much greater than 15 mm long
                       Back to 53
55
55Leaves ovate, margins prickly or toothed, apex acute; peduncle ± 35 mm longOlearia nernstii
Leaves elliptic, margins toothed or sinuately lobed, apex obtuse or rounded; peduncle ± 70 mm long
                       Back to 54
Olearia tomentosa
56Heads in paniclesOlearia chrysophylla
Heads in simple or compound corymbs
                       Back to 38
57
57Ray florets ± 4; disc florets ± 458
Ray florets ± 6; disc florets ± 6
                       Back to 56
59
58Pappus bristles pinkOlearia aglossa
Pappus bristles white or straw-coloured
                       Back to 57
Olearia covenyi
59Leaves beige-tomentose on lower surface, margins flat, petiole ± 30 mm longOlearia megalophylla
Leaves grey-tomentose on lower surface, margins revolute, petiole ± 12 mm long
                       Back to 57
60
60Leaves with margins entire; peduncles ± 25 mm longOlearia alpicola
Leaves with margins toothed; peduncles ± 50 mm long
                       Back to 59
Olearia oppositifolia

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