Common name: Austral water mat
Lepilaena australis Drumm. ex Harv. APNI*
Description: Small much-branched monoecious submerged aquatic with stems to c. 20 cm long.
Leaves mostly alternate, the terminal ones appearing opposite; to 6 cm long and < 1 mm wide, 1-veined, apex acute, with small auricles.
Male flower with a vestigial 3-lobed perianth subtending a 12-sporangiate anther mass. Female flowers on variable length pedicels to 15 cm long that may be reflexed in fruit; perianth segments 3, 1–2 mm long; the carpels subsessile or borne on stalks to 7 mm long; style shorter than fruiting carpel; stigma asymmetrically funnel-shaped.
Fruit at first usually retained in perianth then carpel stalk ± elongating and carrying the fruit beyond the perianth, 1.5–2.5 mm long, flattened, with 1 ventral and 3 dorsal keels, scattered blunt tubercles and persistent style base.
Flowering: during warmer months.
Distribution and occurrence: Grows in fresh to brackish stationary or slowly flowing water.
NSW subdivisions: SWS, SWP
Other Australian states: Vic. Tas. W.A. S.A.
Text by S. W. L. Jacobs
Taxon concept: Flora of NSW 4 (1993)
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.