Description: Perennial or annual herbs or subshrubs, gland-dotted.
Leaves opposite or in whorls of 3 or 4, simple, sessile.
Inflorescence racemose, slender, ± dense, flowers single or clustered in the bract axils; bracteoles 2, appressed to the calyx. Sepals 5, free. Corolla 2-lipped; tube not swollen or spurred, symmetrical at base; upper lip 2-lobed, recurved; lower lip 3-lobed, without a palate. Stamens 4, didynamous; anthers of each pair joined; filaments without spurs; anthers with 2 stipitate loculi. Stigma perpendicular to the style, with 2 equal broad flaps.
Capsule septicidal, leaving remnants of the septum attached to the 2–4 valves and completely free from the central column; seeds numerous, not winged.
Distribution and occurrence: World: 60 species, c. 40 species in tropical America, also Australia, extending to India, Africa. Australia: c. 20 species (19 species endemic), all mainland States.
Text by W. R. Barker
| ||Key to the species|| |
|1||Flowers single in the bract axils; pedicels and sepals minutely prickly with non-glandular hairs; pedicels 8–25 mm long; corolla 6–12 mm long along the upper side||Stemodia glabella|
|Flowers 2 or 3 in bract axils (single often with a bud in young racemes); pedicels and sepals more or less glabrous, pedicels 2–5 mm long, rarely to 10 mm; corolla 4–7 mm long along the upper side||Stemodia florulenta|