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Genus Pultenaea Family Fabaceae
Subfamily Faboideae

Description: Procumbent to erect shrubs.

Leaves usually alternate but occasionally opposite or in whorls of 3, simple or 1-foliolate, margins entire; stipules scarious, fused for part or most of their length behind the petiole.

Flowers usually orange-yellow with reddish markings, axillary but often crowded in apparently terminal heads; bracteoles attached to the calyx tube or rarely to the pedicel, 1–3-lobed (lateral lobes stipules). Standard equal to or longer than the lower petals. Stamens free. Ovary pubescent to glabrous, sometimes glabrous except for a tuft of hairs near the apex; style filiform; ovules 2.

Pods ovate, flat or turgid; seeds arillate.


Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 100 spp., endemic Aust., all States except N.T.

This genus is under revision.

Text by P.H. Weston & R.P.J. de Kok
Taxon concept:

Taxa not yet included in identification key
Pultenaea cuneata,    Pultenaea elusa,    Pultenaea gunnii,    Pultenaea robusta,    Pultenaea sericea,    Pultenaea sp. Genowlan Point (Allen s.n., 29 Nov 1997),    Pultenaea sp. Olinda (Coveny 6616),    Pultenaea viscosa

 Key to the species 
1Leaves with margins recurved or revolute or if flat then darker on the upper surface.2
Leaves with margins incurved or involute or if flat then darker on the lower surface.3
2Bracts conspicuously imbricate, surrounding the terminal, dense inflorescences.4
Bracts absent or not conspicuously imbricate; inflorescences subterminal to terminal, lax to dense, often leafy.
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3Ovary pubescent to the base.26
Ovary glabrous or with hairs only at the apex.
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4Bracts caducous.5
Bracts persistent.
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5Leaves with apex lacking an aristate point.6
Leaves with apex aristate.
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6Flowers 5–7 mm long; calyx 3–4 mm long, teeth acute; leaf apex usually emarginate.Pultenaea retusa
Flowers 7–10 mm long; calyx 4–5 mm long, teeth acuminate; leaf apex rounded and usually minutely indented.
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Pultenaea platyphylla
7Leaves cuneate to obovate, apex rounded, truncate or rarely retuse; bracteoles predominantly pubescent, attached to the upper part of the calyx tube.Pultenaea daphnoides
Leaves narrow-elliptic to linear, apex acute; bracteoles predominantly glabrous, attached near the centre of the calyx tube.
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Pultenaea benthamii
8Hairs on the calyx appressed throughout.9
Hairs on the calyx, or at least on the upper part of the calyx, spreading.
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9Bracts predominantly glabrous.10
Bracts predominantly pubescent.
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10Lateral teeth of the bracts acute to acuminate, sparsely ciliate.11
Lateral teeth of the bracts obtuse, the margins densely ciliate.
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Pultenaea myrtoides
11Longest leaves 25–40 mm long.Pultenaea sp. 'robusta' (Anderberg 7048)
Longest leaves 12–23 mm long.
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12Flowers 10–12 mm long, sessile; longest leaves to 23 mm; bracteoles 4–6 mm long; small spreading shrub or subshrub.Pultenaea paleacea
Flowers 5–7 mm long, pedicellate; longest leaves to 17 mm; bracteoles 3–3.6 mm long; diminutive procumbent subshrub.
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Pultenaea parrisiae
13Leaves mostly >20 mm long; bracteoles aristate.Pultenaea rosmarinifolia
Leaves mostly <15 mm long; bracteoles tending to be 3–5-toothed.
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14Bracteoles 3–5 mm long, narrow-ovate, not keeled, attached to the middle or lower part of the calyx tube.Pultenaea capitellata
Bracteoles 5–7 mm long, obovate, keeled, attached below the base of the calyx tube.
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Pultenaea pycnocephala
15Leaves with apex aristate; teeth of the calyx acuminate with fine pungent points.Pultenaea polifolia
Leaves with apex recurved, teeth of the calyx acuminate or acute without pungent points.
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16Leaves elliptic to cuneate, occasionally dilated near the apex; bracteoles linear-ovate to linear-obovate.Pultenaea linophylla
Leaves narrow-elliptic to obovate; bracteoles oblong to ovate.
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Pultenaea sp. 'New England' (Coveny 16631)
17Ovary glabrous except at the apex; stipules 5–10 mm long.Pultenaea stipularis
Ovary pubescent to the base; stipules less than 5 mm long.
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18Pedicels >3 mm long.Pultenaea pedunculata
Pedicels <3 mm long.
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19Stems with appressed hairs.20
Stems with spreading hairs.
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20Leaves with margins tightly revolute; bracteoles linear, attached at middle of calyx tube.Pultenaea cinerascens
Leaves with margins flat to slightly revolute; bracteoles narrow-triangular, attached at base of calyx tube.
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21Leaves narrow- to linear-obovate, 0.5–2 mm wide, concolorous.Pultenaea microphylla
Leaves narrow-obtriangular to obtriangular, 2–6 mm wide, upper surface darker than lower.
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Pultenaea sp. 'Liverpool Range' (Johnson 963)
22Leaves linear.Pultenaea petiolaris
Leaves oblong to obtriangular or elliptic to obovate.
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23Leaves elliptic to obovate.Pultenaea tarik
Leaves oblong to obtriangular.
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24Upper surface of leaves glabrous, smooth.Pultenaea sp. 'Liverpool Range' (Johnson 963)
Upper surface of leaves hairy and/or scabrous.
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25Calyx with sparse spreading hairs; bracteoles 1–2 mm long.Pultenaea hartmannii
Calyx silky-pubescent to densely hirsute; bracteoles 3–5 mm long.
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Pultenaea scabra
26Leaves terete with a groove on the upper surface.27
Leaves flat, or with incurved to involute margins.
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27Calyx with appressed hairs.28
Calyx with spreading or woolly hairs.
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28Calyx silky-pubescent; bracteoles <2.5 mm long, lacking stipules, narrow-ovate.Pultenaea fasciculata
Calyx covered with stiff pale hairs; bracteoles >2.5 mm long, minutely stipulate, linear to linear-obovate.
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Pultenaea laxiflora
29Bracteoles 6–7 mm long; calyx with woolly hairs; stipules 5–7 mm long.Pultenaea baeuerlenii
Bracteoles 2–3 mm long; calyx with spreading hairs; stipules 1.5–3 mm long.
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30Leaves 7–15 mm long, 0.5–0.8 mm wide, lower surface densely tuberculate; calyx 2–5.5 mm long.Pultenaea divaricata
Leaves 15–35 mm long, 0.8–1.8 mm wide, lower surface smooth; calyx 6–7 mm long.
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Pultenaea rodwayi
31Hairs on the calyx spreading or absent; leaves alternate.32
Hairs on the calyx silky and appressed; leaves alternate, subopposite or opposite.
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32Leaves with apex with a long or short aristate point.33
Leaves with apex leaf lacking an aristate point.
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33Bracteoles almost orbicular, viscid.Pultenaea vrolandii
Bracteoles ovate, not viscid
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34Bracts three lobed, leaves 1.5–2.5 mm widePultenaea juniperina
Bracts absent, leaves 2–7 mm wide
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Pultenaea villifera
35Leaves 3–6.5 mm long, oblong; stipules and bracteole somewhat viscid.Pultenaea hispidula
Leaves up to 10–20 mm long, narrow-ovate to linear; stipules and bracteole viscid.
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Pultenaea mollis
36Bracts absent or inconspicuous.37
Bracts imbricate, conspicuous.
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37Leaves mostly opposite, 10–20 mm long; lower surface darker than upper.Pultenaea blakelyi
Leaves alternate, 2–9 mm long, concolorous.
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Pultenaea microphylla
38Bracteoles lacking stipules.Pultenaea largiflorens
Bracteoles with stipules.
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39Petioles not decurrent on stem; leaves linear to linear-obovate, terete with a groove on the upper surface; bracteoles 2.8–5 mm long, fused to the stipules at base.Pultenaea laxiflora
Petioles decurrent on stem; leaves elliptic to narrow-obovate, concave; bracteoles c. 2 mm long, fused to stipules to middle.
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Pultenaea dentata
40Ovary glabrous.41
Ovary with a tuft of hairs at apex.
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41Leaves usually whorled or opposite and decussate; venation of leaves palmate, usually with 3 main veins from base (although sometimes the main lateral veins obscure); base of leaves obtuse to rounded.Pultenaea spinosa
Leaves alternate; venation of leaves with only 1 main vein; base of leaves attenuate to cuneate.
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42Bracteoles circular to broad-ovate.Pultenaea altissima
Bracteoles longer than broad.
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43Leaves involute to generally U-shaped in cross section.Pultenaea glabra
Leaves flat or slightly concave in cross section.
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44Leaves with apex emarginate to round, straight.Pultenaea euchila
Leaves with apex acute to acuminate, straight to recurved
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45Leaves with apex straight and aristate.Pultenaea flexilis
Leaves with apex recurved and not aristate.
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Pultenaea alea
46Bracteoles 2- or 3-lobed, beige, with frayed margins, enlarged and deeply concave, almost covering the calyx.Pultenaea tuberculata
Bracteoles 1- or 3-lobed, variously coloured but the lateral lobes (stipules) being reddish brown, with entire margins, not obscuring much of the calyx.
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47Bracteoles 1-lobed (apparently lacking stipules).48
Bracteoles 3-lobed (with distinct stipules, although these may be small and largely hidden behind the bracteole).
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48Inflorescences lax, leafy racemes.49
Inflorescences dense, head-like.
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49Leaves terete and grooved on upper surface, 0.5–1 mm wide.Pultenaea sp. 'Olinda' (Coveny 6616)
Leaves flat or shallowly concave, 1.5–25 mm wide.
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50Petioles decurrent on stem.51
Petioles not decurrent on stem.
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51Leaves with apex acute to acuminate.Pultenaea flexilis
Leaves with apex emarginate to rounded.
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Pultenaea euchila
52Leaves with base obtuse to rounded; leaves usually whorled or opposite and decussate.Pultenaea spinosa
Leaves with base attenuate to cuneate; leaves alternate.
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53Branchlets drooping; hairs on leaves stiff, usually erect.Pultenaea villosa
Branchlets ascending to erect; hairs on leaves soft, appressed or ascending.
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Pultenaea humilis
54Leaves warty.55
Leaves smooth.
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55Leaves with tufts of minute needle-like hairs on the warts, concave with involute margins, 1–2 mm wide; stipules 5–6 mm long.Pultenaea aristata
Leaves without tufts of needle-like hairs on the warts, often with long hairs on the leaf margins, terete and grooved on upper surface, 0.5–1 mm wide; stipules c. 3 mm long.
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Pultenaea echinula
56Leaves linear, apex acuminate.57
Leaves elliptic to oblong or ovate, apex acute to obtuse or rounded or emarginate.
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57Leaves flat to shallowly concave; stipules 7.5–10 mm long.Pultenaea stipularis
Leaves deeply concave or terete and grooved above; stipules 2–6 mm long.
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58Leaves 10–20 mm long, concave with involute margins when dried.Pultenaea glabra
Leaves 5–10 mm long, terete and grooved above when dried.
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Pultenaea sp. 'Olinda' (Coveny 6616)
59Petioles decurrent on stem; stems glabrous.Pultenaea euchila
Petioles not decurrent on stem; stems spreading-pubescent.
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Pultenaea humilis
60Apex of leaves long- or short-acuminate to an aristate point.61
Apex of leaves acute to rounded but lacking a point.
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61Leaves linear to narrow-obovate to narrow-elliptic, 0.5–1.5 mm wide; leaf venation with only 1 main vein.Pultenaea setulosa
Leaves ovate to rhombic to broad-rhombic, 1–25 mm wide; leaf venation palmate, usually with 3 main veins from base (although sometimes the main lateral veins obscure).
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62Leaves usually whorled or opposite and decussate, usually straight; tip of calyx teeth acute.Pultenaea spinosa
Leaves alternate, recurved; tip of calyx teeth acuminate.
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Pultenaea procumbens
63Leaves mostly <3 mm long; leaf base usually obtuse to rounded.Pultenaea foliolosa
Leaves mostly >3 mm long; leaf base attenuate to cuneate.
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64Bracteolar stipules fused to bracteole to half its length.Pultenaea subspicata
Bracteolar stipules free or fused only basally to bracteole.
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65Bracteoles inserted at the base of the calyx tube.66
Bracteoles inserted on the calyx tube.
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66Stipules 4–6 mm long.Pultenaea canescens
Stipules 1–3 mm long.
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67Prostrate, mat-forming shrubs with ascending branchlets; leaves glabrous or with soft, appressed to ascending hairs.Pultenaea maritima
Erect to spreading shrubs with drooping branchlets; leaves hairy with hairs stiff, usually spreading.
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Pultenaea villosa
68Calyx glabrous on the outer surface except for a few hairs on the teeth.Pultenaea parviflora
Calyx moderately hairy on the outer surface.
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69Erect to spreading shrubs with drooping branchlets; leaves with hairs stiff, usually spreading.Pultenaea villosa
Erect to procumbent shrubs with erect to ascending branchlets; leaves with hairs soft, appressed to ascending.
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70Leaves narrow-spathulate to oblanceolate to narrow-elliptic or narrow-oblong.Pultenaea rostrata
Leaves obovate to spathulate.
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Pultenaea ferruginea

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