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Halophila decipiens Ostenf.
Family Hydrocharitaceae
Halophila decipiens Ostenf. APNI*

Description: Submerged monoecious marine perennial; rhizomes c. 1 mm diam., with 1 root at each node; scales obovate, hairy on the outside; apex incised.

Leaves with lamina thin, oblong-elliptic, 10–25 mm long, 3–5 mm wide, often with scattered hairs (not always visible when wet) on both surfaces, with 6–9 pairs of cross-veins, arising from a lateral shoot 0.5–10 mm long; margins minutely toothed; petiole 3–15 mm long.

Spathes containing 1 male and 1 female flower. Male flower on a pedicel to 8 mm long at anthesis; spathe sessile; perianth segments 1–1.5 mm long. Female flower with spathe on elongated branches to 8 cm long off main stem; styles 3; ovary c. 1 mm long; hypanthium 1–2 mm long; perianth segments minute.

Fruit c. 2 mm diam., globose, with a beak 1.5–2 mm long.

Flowering: Rarely flowers but more likely during warmer months.

Distribution and occurrence: Chiefly in Sydney district (but easily overlooked); also in Qld, Vic, NT, WA. Widespread elsewhere in tropical and warm waters.

in estuarine or protected marine habitats to 20+ m deep, usually on sand, not exposed at low tide.
NSW subdivisions: CC
Other Australian states: Qld Vic. W.A.
AVH map***

Text by S. W. L. Jacobs (1993); edited KL Wilson (Feb 2011)
Taxon concept: Flora of NSW 4 (1993); ms (unpublished) 2007

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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