Description: Shrubs, usually dioecious, with apical buds scaly and glabrous.
Leaves aromatic when crushed.
Inflorescence at first apparently a terminal umbel with the flowers single in the axils of the closely spaced bud scales, becoming pseudowhorled by further growth of the shoot. Flowers frequently white, sometimes yellow, usually unisexual. Sepals fused, completely enclosing the bud, splitting into 2 or 3 lobes, often falling early. Petals 2–many or sometimes absent. Stamens with slender filaments. Carpels 1–several, free, with the stigmatic surface extended along the suture; sterile carpels often present in male flowers.
Fruit a cluster of berries, 1–several per flower.
Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 40 species, Malesia & Australia. Australia: 7 species, Qld, N.S.W., Vic., Tas.
Text by G. J. Harden
| ||Key to the species|| |
|1||Leaves mostly less than 8 cm long; berries more or less globose; petals 0, 2, or more than 2||2|
|Leaves mostly more than 8 cm long; berries ovoid to oblong; petals usually 2||4|
|2||Leaves lanceolate to oblong-elliptic, shortly petiolate, green on both surfaces; flowers more than 10 mm diam||Tasmannia lanceolata|
|Leaves oblanceolate to spathulate, sessile, glaucous or green on lower surface; flowers small, mostly less than 10 mm diam|
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|3||Lower surface of leaves green, not papillose; petals usually 2, sometimes to 5, white to yellow||Tasmannia xerophila|
|Lower surface of leaves glaucous, densely papillose; petals absent|
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|4||Leaves with lamina distinctly truncate and usually auriculate at base, borne on a distinct petiole 2–4 mm long; carpels and berries sessile, solitary||Tasmannia insipida|
|Leaves neither truncate nor auriculate at base, more or less sessile; carpels and berries stalked, 2–9 per female flower|
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|5||Leaves oblanceolate, obtuse, mostly 8–18 cm long, 3–5 cm wide; secondary veins forming angle of c. 450 with the midvein||Tasmannia purpurascens|
|Leaves narrow-lanceolate to narrow-elliptic, usually 8–13 cm long, 1–2 cm wide; secondary veins forming angle of c. 300 with the midvein|
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