Description: Perennial herbs and small shrubs, branches sometimes ascending or procumbent, glabrous to pubescent.
Leaves alternate; toothed, lobed or dissected, rarely entire.
Inflorescence terminal or leaf-opposed, mostly a compound umbel, sometimes simple or reduced to one or a few flowers; bracts on compound umbels usually as many as the rays; umbellules with 2 or 3 bracteoles. Flowers bisexual, white, pinkish or pale green. Sepals conspicuous, petaloid. Petals narrow, inflexed. Stylopodium 2-lobed.
Fruit laterally compressed, oblong or ± circular; carpophore adnate to mericarp junction; mericarps 5–9-ribbed, often some ribs prominent and incurved at the base.
Distribution and occurrence: World: 20 spp., endemic temp. Aust., all States except N.T.
Text by J.M. Hart & M. Henwood
Taxon concept: Hart & Henwood 2002
| ||Key to the species|| |
|1||Leaves mostly basal, ternately dissected||2|
|Leaves mostly cauline, simple or trifoliolate||3|
|2||Plants 10–50 cm high, perennial; umbels exceeding the leaves; bracteoles and petals white||Xanthosia atkinsoniana|
|Plants prostrate, up to 10 cm high; umbels not exceeding the leaves; bracteoles green; petals white or reddish|
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|3||Plants herbs; leaves trifoliolate, leaflets elliptic, margins entire; fruit with 5–7 ribs||Xanthosia tasmanica |
|Plants shrubs or subshrubs; leaves simple or compound|
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|4||Leaves simple, cuneate, apex 3-notched; sepals peltate; fruit glabrous||Xanthosia tridentata|
|Leaves simple or compound, elliptic or ovate, entire, crenate or serrate; sepals not peltate; fruit hirsute on the summit|
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|5||Mature stems excorticating (flaky)||Xanthosia scopulicola|
|Mature stems not excorticating|
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|6||Leaves simple or compound, if compound then with the terminal leaflet at least 1.5 times longer than the lateral leaflets||Xanthosia pilosa|
|Leaves compound with the terminal leaflet equal to slightly longer than the lateral leaflets, the leaflets similar in shape, usually with three lobes|
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|7||Trichomes on adaxial leaf surface stellate, isolated to sparse||Xanthosia stellata|
|Trichomes on the adaxial leaf surface long, simple or dendritic, dense|
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