Hovea speciosa I.Thomps. APNI*
Description: Shrub up to 3 m tall. Indumentum of branchlets, petiole, stipules, pedicel, abaxial surfaces of bract and bracteoles and external surface of calyx dense, brown, grey-brown or sometimes partly blackish, hairs long, spreading, extending 1–1.5 mm beyond understorey, hairs coiled at base.
Leaves narrow-oblong to lorate, elliptic-lorate or clavate, 2.5–6 cm long, 3–7 mm wide (juvenile leaves to 5.5 cm long, 11 mm wide), arched mostly nearer the margins, midrib shallowly recessed, base rounded to subacute, margins recurved to revolute, apex rounded to subacute or sometimes emarginate, mucro short or absent; upper surface green, dull, glabrous except for scattered hairs along the midrib, veins slightly raised and thickened; lower surface completely covered thick, cream, golden or golden-brown curled hairs, scattered long, spreading hairs interspersed, midrib hairs dense, orange-brown to brown, scattered, also with long spreading hairs, venation pattern faintly shown by darker coloured hairs along veins. Stipules narrow-lanceolate, 3–4 mm long, apex sometimes recurved, fragile.
Inflorescences sessile or subsessile, 2- or 3-flowered, commonly 3-flowered. Flowers with bracts inserted 1–1.5 mm distal to base of pedicel, narrow-ovate to lanceolate, 3.5–6 mm long, overlapping bracteoles; bracteoles inserted at or shortly proximal to base of calyx, lanceolate, 4–5 mm long; calyx 5–6 mm long; tube 2–2.5 mm long; upper lip 3–3.5 mm wide across base, apex of lobes rounded, intervening sinus to 0.5 mm deep; lower lip 4 mm wide across base, lateral lobes c. 2–2.5 mm long, the lower lobe 2–3 mm long; standard 8–10 mm long, 9–12 mm wide, claw 2.5–2.7 mm long, limb mauve, flare yellow, 1.5–2 mm wide, slightly bilobed, bordered by a zone of deep mauve; wing 6.5–7 mm long, 2.5–4 mm wide, claw 1.5–2 mm long; keel 5.5–5.7 mm long, 2–2.5 mm wide, claw 1.5–2 mm long; style hairy for the first 2.5 mm.
Pod obliquely broad-elliptic in profile, 12–14 mm long, 9–11 mm deep, sessile, external surface almost completely obscured by a golden-brown indumentum, hairs long, curled to almost straight, weakly appressed, internal surface with scattered hairs. Seeds subglobose, c. 4.5–5 mm long, 3.3–3.8 mm wide, black, dark brown or mottled red/brown or olive/brown, aril suboblong, 4–5 mm, 1.8–2 mm wide, 70–80% of the curved length of seed.
Flowering: Flowers in August–September. Fruit matures in November_December.
Distribution and occurrence: Occurs in central coastal NSW from Cowan south to Nerriga and further inland from Mt Coricudgy south to the Blue Mountains.
Grows predominantly on sandstone in forest.
NSW subdivisions: CC, CT
The long and relatively broad bract and bracteoles, the nature of the arching of the lamina of leaves and the hairy midrib on the upper surface most readily distinguish this species from similarspecies such as H. pannosa and H. pedunculata.
Text by Louisa Murray
Taxon concept: I.R. Thompson (2001) Eastern Australian Hovea (Brongniartieae-Fabaceae). Australian Systematic Botany, Vol 14, pp 95-96.
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