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Genus Philotheca Family Rutaceae

Description: Shrubs, glabrous or with simple hairs, unarmed.

Leaves alternate, simple, margins entire to glandular-crenate.

Inflorescences axillary or terminal, cymose or apparently racemose or reduced to single flowers. Flowers bisexual, 5- or rarely 4-merous. Sepals 5 or rarely 4, free. Petals 5 or rarely 4, imbricate or rarely valvate, not persistent in fruit. Stamens 10 or rarely 8, free or cohering at the base in a tube but free above, erect or pyramidally arranged and incurved over the ovary; filaments fused or free and pilose or ciliate; anthers with either a small or prominent glabrous white apiculum. Carpels 5 or rarely 4, basally fused or ± free, usually with a beak formed from the sterile apex of the carpel; styles fused, arising from below or at the middle of the carpels; stigma scarcely differentiated from style, capitate or shortly 5-lobed; ovules 2 in each carpel.

Fruit of 1–5 cocci; cocci not transversely ridged, with rounded or beaked apices; seeds released forcibly from dehiscing cocci, dull to shiny, dark brown to black.


Distribution and occurrence: World: 45 spp., endemic Aust., all States except N.T.

Text by P.H. Weston & G.J.Harden
Taxon concept:

Taxa not yet included in identification key
Philotheca conduplicata,    Philotheca epilosa,    Philotheca obovatifolia,    Philotheca papillata

 Key to the species 
1Stamens with filaments fused for at least half their length, free portion of filaments pilose.2
Stamens free, filaments usually hairy from base, sometimes cohering by intertwined hairs.4
2Anthers ± visible beyond the spreading to ± appressed long hairs on the filaments, anthers glabrous.3
Anthers concealed by the long upwardly appressed hairs on the filaments, anthers with an apical tuft of long hairs.
                       Back to 1
Philotheca reichenbachii
3Petals 6–12 mm long, pink to purple; leaves 5–15 mm long, 1–1.5 mm wide, glabrous .Philotheca salsolifolia
Petals 4–5 mm long, white to pink; leaves 3–9 mm long, c. 0.5 mm wide, sparsely ciliate or glabrous.
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Philotheca ciliata
4Flowers terminal, or if axillary then with pubescent petals; hairs (if present) on stems scattered or in longitudinal lines; stipules present or absent.5
Flowers axillary or in axillary cymes; petals glabrous or sparsely and finely hispid outside; hairs if present on stems scattered; stipules absent.
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10
5Flowers axillary; leaves 8–20 mm long.Philotheca linearis
Flowers terminal; leaves 1.5–12 mm long.
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6
6Leaves 1.5–2.5 mm long; petals c. 2 mm long; sepals varying in shape and size on the same flower.Philotheca cuticularis
Leaves 3–12 mm long; petals 4–10 mm long; sepals similar on the same flower.
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7
7Petals pubescent outside, at least towards margin.8
Petals glabrous outside.
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9
8Petals c. 9 mm long; leaves needle-like.Philotheca ericifolia
Petals <6 mm long; leaves fleshy and ± terete to flat, narrow-oblong to broad-elliptic to ovate.
                       Back to 7
Philotheca difformis
9Leaves and sepals with a dark-coloured, gland-like apiculum; staminal filaments evenly attenuate; stipules, if present, minute.Philotheca brevifolia
Leaves and sepals without a gland-like apiculum; at least some staminal filaments abruptly narrowed near apex to a subulate tip; stipules small.
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Philotheca angustifolia
10Leaves ± terete to narrow-oblong or narrow-ovate, concave above or with margins tightly incurved.11
Leaves oblong to elliptic or obovate, often broadly so, if narrow then with recurved, crenulate margins.
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12
11Stems glabrous; leaves mostly >2 cm long.Philotheca myoporoides
Stems either finely hispid or glabrous and then leaves <2 cm long.
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Philotheca scabra
12Plant glabrous.13
Plant ± finely bristly or shortly pubescent.
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15
13Pedicels usually pedunculate (sometimes very shortly so), with a whorl of bracteoles at base.Philotheca myoporoides
Pedicels sessile with several small imbricate basal bracts.
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14
14Leaves >5 mm wide, flat, >3 cm long; carpels united at periphery; flowers 5-merous.Philotheca trachyphylla
Leaves <4 mm wide, margins ± recurved, <2 cm long; carpels free to base; flowers 4-merous.
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Philotheca virgata
15Margins of leaves revolute, glandular-crenate.Philotheca hispidula
Margins of leaves flat to slightly recurved, entire to glandular-crenate.
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16
16Leaves not mucronate, broad-obovate to obcordate, ± flat.Philotheca obovalis
Leaves mucronate, broad-ovate to obovate, flat or slightly concave above.
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Philotheca buxifolia

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