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Epacris obtusifolia Sm.
Family Ericaceae
Subfamily Styphelioideae
Common name: Blunt-leaf Heath

Epacris obtusifolia Sm. APNI*

Description: Slender, erect shrub usually to c. 100 cm high, sometimes more; stems with inconspicuous leaf scars; branchlets pubescent.

Leaves erect, elliptic, 6.4–11.5 mm long, 1.5–3.1 mm wide, apex obtuse and sometimes upturned, base narrowing, margins entire or minutely toothed; lamina thick, flat to ± concave; petiole 1.5–2 mm long.

Flowers in long leafy inflorescences, 4.5–10 mm diam., white or cream; peduncle to 1.5 mm long; bracts broad-acute. Sepals 3.9–7 mm long. Corolla tube 4.8–14.2 mm long; lobes 1.6–4 mm long. Anthers hidden in tube.

Capsule 3–3.5 mm long.

Photo W. Grimm


Flowering: throughout year but mainly July–January

Distribution and occurrence: Common in heath, usually in swampy situations; chiefly in coastal districts to 1000 m alt., inland to Blue Mtns.
NSW subdivisions: NC, CC, SC, NT, CT, ST
Other Australian states: Qld Vic. Tas.
AVH map***

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


Life History
Vegetative spread No.

Longevity 10--20 years.

Primary juvenile period 3 years (Keith 1996).

Flowers Cream--white, July--January, peak September.

Fruit/seed Capsule 3.5 mm long, average seed weight 0.03 mg (J. Howell pers. comm.), July--January.

Dispersal, establishment and growth Diaspore: seed, no special dispersal morphology (Westoby et al 1990), soil-stored seedbank. Non-dormant fraction of total seed crop 15%, minimum temperature for maximum germination ca 60íC , recruitment mainly after fire (D. Keith pers. comm.).

Fire response Killed by fire , recruits from soil-stored seed; seedling noted within 38 weeeks of high intensity fire (at Lane Cove River 1/1994, P. Kubiak pers. comm.).

Habitat Sedge swamp, moist cliff lines.

Altitude 0--1000 m                                      Annual rainfall 900--1600 mm

Typical local abundance Frequent--occasional.

Vegetation Wet heath and sedgeland e.g. with Gleichenia dicarpa, Banksia robur, Lepidosperma limicola, Baeckea linifolia, Empodisma minus, Banksia ericifolia.

Substrate Sandy soil on sandstone, low nutrients, poorly-drained sites.

Exposure Full sun to 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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