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Cryptandra amara Sm.
Family Rhamnaceae
Common name: Bitter cryptandra

Cryptandra amara Sm. APNI*

Synonyms: Cryptandra amara Sm. var. amara APNI*
Cryptandra sieberi Fenzl APNI*

Description: Shrub to 1 m high, often intricately branched.

Leaves clustered, ± terete to obovate or elliptic, 2–6 mm long, 1–3 mm wide, base tapering, margins flat to recurved, both surfaces glabrous or sometimes pubescent below; stipules linear, c. 1 mm long.

Flowers usually clustered at end of branchlets, solitary or in few- to many-flowered spike-like clusters. Bracts broad and obtuse. Hypanthium covered with only short or with short and some longer appressed hairs.

Distribution and occurrence: Widespread; also Queensland and Tasmania.
NSW subdivisions: NC, CC, SC, NT, CT, ST, NWS, CWS, SWS, NWP, SWP
Other Australian states: Qld Vic. Tas. S.A.
AVH map***

Intermediate forms between the varieties are found in some areas.

Text by G. J. Harden
Taxon concept:

 Key to the varieties 
1Leaves elliptic to ± obovate or oblong, margins flat or recurved; branchlets often spinose; bracts enclosing base of hypanthium, not distinctly constricted in lower half in fruiting stages2
Leaves ± terete, margins strongly revolute; branchlets not spinose; bracts usually below hypanthium, hypanthium constricted in lower half in fruiting stages. Leaves mostly 2–6 mm long (rarely to 10 mm). Flowers 2–3 mm long, crowded at end of lateral branches, white-tomentose with short stellate and longer simple hairs. Hypanthium and sepals turning reddish with greyish hairs in fruiting stagesvar. floribunda
2Flowers 2–4 mm long, sepals not spreading, 1–2 mm long, ± equal to hypanthium, not ridged. Leaves 2–5 mm long, elliptic to oblanceolate. Flowers sessile, few and scattered or in clusters of 2–10 at end of branches. Hairs on hypanthium and sepals shortly stellatevar. amara
Flowers 4–6 mm long, sepals often spreading, 1–2 mm long, less than half as long as the hypanthium, ridged. Leaves 3–6 mm long, mostly obovate to oblong, sometimes ovate. Hairs on hypanthium shortly stellate with longer simple hairs on sepals. Flowers shortly pedicellate, solitary or in few-flowered leafy clusters
                       Back to 1
var. longiflora

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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