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Genus Petrophile Family Proteaceae

Description: Erect shrubs.

Leaves alternate, deeply pinnatisect or ternately divided into terete ± rigid segments [or entire].

Inflorescences terminal or axillary, spike-like and forming ± ovoid cone-like structures; flowers sessile within a bract, bracts broad and imbricate, enlarging and becoming woody in fruit. Flowers actinomorphic. Perianth divided into 4 linear, equally spreading tepals, falling separately or remaining united. Anthers sessile on base of expanded apical portion of tepals. Hypogonous glands absent. Ovary sessile; ovules 1 or 2; style filiform, pollen presenter dilated into a hispid or papillate brush with a glabrous apex.

Fruit a nut, shorter than the bract, nut with hairs often longer than the bract; infructescence cone-like, ovoid to oblong; bracts firmly adhering to the rachis and opening to release the flattened nuts.

Photo © ANBG

Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 42 species, endemic Australia. Australia: Qld & N.S.W. (4 species), S.A. (1 species, Kangaroo Is), W.A. (c. 37 species).

Text by G. J Harden
Taxon concept:

 Key to the species 
1Cones sessile or on peduncles to 10 mm long, terminal and solitary, or with several axillary cones close to the base; bracts pubescent, at least when young; perianth silky, 10–14 mm long; leaves usually 3–10 cm long2
Cones on peduncles 10–30 mm long, axillary; bracts and perianth glabrous, perianth 8–10 mm long; leaves mostly 8–16 cm longPetrophile pedunculata
2Young shoots glabrous, or almost soPetrophile pulchella
Young shoots at least pubescent
                       Back to 1
3Leaves with segments spreading, very divaricate, rigid, more or less pungent, glabrescent; undivided part of leaf shorter than divided partPetrophile sessilis
Leaves with segments ascending, not pungent, greyish and pubescent; undivided part of leaf longer than the divided part
                       Back to 2
Petrophile canescens

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