Description: Monoecious or polygamous annual or perennial herbs, pubescent, stinging hairs absent.
Leaves alternate, thin, entire, ± 3-veined from base; petiolate; stipules absent.
Flowers mostly bisexual with some male and female, clustered or cymose in axils of upper leaves, the lateral flowers with an involucre of leafy bracts. Perianth 3- or 4-toothed, green. Stamens 3 or 4.
Achene enclosed in persistent perianth subtended by leafy bracts.
Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 20 species, tropical & temperate regions. Australia: 3 species (2 species native), all States.
Text by G. J. Harden
| ||Key to the species|| |
|1||Annual with tender stems; bracts free at base, equal to or exceeding the perianth in fruit; style absent, stigmatic hairs seated directly on ovary||2|
|Perennial with firm more or less wiry stems; bracts often fused at base, shorter than perianth in fruit; stigma on a long style||Parietaria judaica|
|2||Bracts lanceolate to broad-elliptic, with simple or more or less branched midvein||Parietaria debilis|
|Bracts cordate, with a conspicuous radial reticulate venation|
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