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Melichrus erubescens A.Cunn. ex DC.
Family Ericaceae
Subfamily Epacridoideae
Common name: Ruby Urn Heath

Melichrus erubescens A.Cunn. ex DC. APNI*

Description: Slender to compact bushy shrub, 30–120 cm high.

Leaves mainly ± erect, 11–30 mm long, 1.4–4.2 mm wide, glabrous or scabrous, deeply 8–16-ribbed on lower surface; margins narrow-hyaline, evenly toothed; petiole 0.8–1.7 mm long.

Flowers ± hidden within leaves, pink to deep red; bracteoles 3–4 mm long. Sepals 3.8–4.5 mm long, glabrous, reddish. Corolla tube cup-shaped, 2.5–3.8 mm long; lobes spreading, 1.5–2.2 mm long, sparsely hairy.

Fruit depressed-globose, 4–5 mm long, finely ribbed, red.


Flower
Photo J. Plaza

Herbarium
Sheet

Flowering: February–October, mainly September

Distribution and occurrence: Grows in sclerophyll forest, woodland and scrub on ridge tops and rocky outcrops in sandy or loamy soils; from Warrumbungle Mtns to Grenfell and Cowra areas.
NSW subdivisions: CT, NWS, CWS, SWS
Other Australian states: Qld
AVH map***

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


ECOLOGY

Life History
Flowers Pink--deep red, February--October.

Fruit/seed Succulent, ribbed fruit (drupe), 5 mm long.

Dispersal, establishment and growth Diaspore: fruit.


Habitat
Habitat Sandstone pagodas and slopes.

Altitude 800--1000 m                                      Annual rainfall 900--1000 mm

Typical local abundance Rare.

Vegetation Scrub e.g. with Hakea, Banksia , or eucalypt woodland.

Substrate Shallow alluvial sand over sandstone, low nutrients.


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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