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Astroloma humifusum (Cav.) R.Br.
Family Ericaceae
Subfamily Styphelioideae
Common name: Native Cranberry

Astroloma humifusum (Cav.) R.Br. APNI*

Synonyms: Ventenatia humifusa Cav. APNI*

Description: Mat-forming shrub with branches ascending to 50 cm high; branchlets minutely pubescent.

Leaves linear, narrow-elliptic or oblanceolate, 6–18 mm long, 0.6–3 mm wide; apex often recurved, tip 0.9–1.3 mm long; lamina thin, striate-veined on lower surface.

Flowers often ± hidden in foliage, solitary or rarely 2 or 3 together, erect, bright to dark red; bracteoles 2.5–3.5 mm long. Sepals 4.3–7 mm long. Corolla tube 7–12 mm long; lobes 3.7–5.3 mm long, densely bearded inside except at tip. Filaments 0.4–1.3 mm long; anthers 1.3–2.4 mm long.

Fruit globose to oblong, 4.9–6 mm long.


Habit
Photo Tanja Lenz

Flower
Photo J. Plaza

Herbarium
Sheet

Flowering: throughout year. Often grows in disturbed sites on ridges and slopes in dry sclerophyll forest, over sandstone, shales or basalt; south from Newcastle to Mt Bingar near Griffith.

Distribution and occurrence:
NSW subdivisions: NC, CC, SC, CT, ST, NWS, CWS, SWS, SWP
Other Australian states: Tas. ?W.A. S.A.
AVH map***

Text by J. M. Powell, except for groups with contributors listed
Taxon concept: Flora of NSW 3 (1992)


ECOLOGY

Life History
Vegetative spread No.

Flowers Red, often hidden in foliage, December--September.

Fruit/seed Slightly succulent fruit, (drupe), 5--6 mm long, reddish, mature mainly July--October.

Dispersal, establishment and growth Diaspore: fruit.

Interaction with other organisms Possibly foodplant of moth larvae Poecilasthena pulchraria (Common 1990).


Habitat
Habitat Dry woodland on sandy clay soils.

Altitude 0--800 m                                      Annual rainfall above 700 mm

Typical local abundance Frequent--occasional.

Vegetation Eucalypt grassy open-forest, and woodland e.g. with Eucalyptus fibrosa, E. sideroxylon, E. macrorrhyncha, E. punctata, Angophora bakeri.

Substrate Often on medium nutrient clay soils e.g. Wianamatta Shale but also on Tertiary alluvium, conglomerates, sandstones. Recorded on saline soils in the Lower Boro area, Southern Tablelands (Kodela & Foster 1990).

Exposure Full sun--light shade.


APNI* Provides a link to the Australian Plant Name Index (hosted by the Australian National Botanic Gardens) for comprehensive bibliographic data
***The AVH map option provides a detailed interactive Australia wide distribution map drawn from collections held by all major Australian herbaria participating in the Australian Virtual Herbarium project.
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