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Genus Polycarpaea Family Caryophyllaceae

Description: Annual to perennial herbs, stems erect or spreading.

Leaves narrow-linear or rarely ovate, sometimes appearing whorled; stipules small, scarious.

Flowers in terminal cymes; bracts conspicuous, scarious, white, pink, or purple. Sepals 5, entirely scarious or sometimes herbaceous in the centre with scarious edges. Petals 5, entire or toothed. Stamens 5. Style with 3 lobes or teeth.

Capsule 3-valved; seeds subglobose, pale brown except for a dark furrow round the outer edge of the seed.


Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 50 species, Australia, Asia, Africa & South America. Australia: 12 species, Qld, N.S.W., N.T., S.A., W.A.

Text by A. Doust
Taxon concept:

Taxa not yet included in identification key
Polycarpaea breviflora

 Key to the species 
1Inflorescence leafy; sepals all white or occasionally yellowish and slightly thickened at basePolycarpaea arida
Inflorescence leafless; sepals with a reddish triangle at base or a reddish brown to purplish brown midrib2
2Sepals with a reddish brown to purplish brown midrib; petals fused at basePolycarpaea spirostylis
Sepals thickened and with a more or less reddish triangular patch at the base; petals free
                       Back to 1
Polycarpaea corymbosa

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