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Genus Lobelia Family Campanulaceae

Synonyms: Pratia APNI*

Description: Annual or perennial herbs usually glabrous; stems erect and mostly few-branched or prostrate, monoecious [or dioecious], often with milky sap, usually with a tap root, rarely with adventitious roots.

Leaves alternate, cauline leaves sometimes reduced to bracts, margins toothed or rarely lobed or entire.

Inflorescence terminal and cymose or raceme-like or flowers solitary, with 1–3 leaf-like or reduced bracts or bracteoles. Flowers unisexual. Calyx shortly tubular, lobed. Corolla tube split almost to base on upper side, 2-lipped, with the upper lip of 2 erect or recurved often much shorter lobes, and the lower one of 3 spreading lobes. Stamens fused to corolla at base; filaments sometimes splitting with age; 3 upper anthers slightly longer and with or without hairs, the 2 lower ones shorter with or without apical hairs. Ovary inferior, 2-locular; stigma 2-lobed.

Fruit a capsule dehiscing mainly loculicidally, 2-valved.


Distribution and occurrence: World: >300 species, cosmopolitan, especially tropical & subtropical regions of North America, southern Africa & Australia. Australia: c. 20 species (native), all States.

Text by B. Wiecek
Taxon concept:

 Key to the species 
1Peduncles <5 mm long2
Peduncles >5 mm long4
2Leaves to 12 mm long; corolla to 5 mm long3
Leaves 10–30 mm long; corolla >5 mm long
                       Back to 1
Pratia concolor
3Leaves oblong to elliptic; 1–3 mm wide; inland speciesPratia darlingensis
Leaves ovate to spathulate or ± circular, 2.5–8 mm wide; tableland species.
                       Back to 2
Pratia sp. A sensu Harden (1992)
4Leaves usually obovate to spathulate, margins mostly entirePratia surrepens
Leaves not as above, margins ± toothed
                       Back to 1
5
5Leaves ovate to lanceolate to oblong-lanceolate, 10–30 mm long, glabrous6
Leaves ovate to ± circular, mostly <10 mm long, usually hairy or glabrescent
                       Back to 4
7
6Peduncles 10–70 mm long; calyx lobes with a small basal tooth on each side; leaves mostly petiolate, often purplish on lower surfacePratia purpurascens
Peduncles 3–13 mm long; calyx lobes without basal teeth; leaves sessile, green on lower surface
                       Back to 5
Pratia concolor
7Peduncles mostly <20 mm long; corolla 4–6 mm longPratia puberula
Peduncles >20 mm long, corolla usually 6–10 mm long
                       Back to 5
Pratia pedunculata

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