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Opercularia aspera Gaertn.
Family Rubiaceae
Common name: Coarse Stinkweed

Opercularia aspera Gaertn. APNI*

Description: Prostrate to erect subshrub to 2 m or more high; stems ribbed, glabrous or scabrous.

Leaves lanceolate to ± ovate, usually 1–5.5 cm long, 5–20 mm wide, apex attenuate, upper surface scabrous, lower surface glabrous or scabrous on veins; petiole 1–10 mm long.

Compound flowering heads on recurved peduncles mostly 0.5–1.5 cm long. Calyx lobes 2–4 mm long. Corolla 2–4 mm long. Fruiting heads 5–10 mm diam.; seeds transversely wrinkled with 2 prominent smooth, longitudinal ridges on inner surface.

Photo D. Hardin

Photo D. Hardin

Other photo
Photo S. Lewer

Flowering: spring–summer.

Distribution and occurrence: Usually grows in heath and dry sclerophyll forest, often on sandy soils and on creek banks; widespread.
NSW subdivisions: NC, CC, SC, NT, CT, ST, NWS, CWS
Other Australian states: Qld Vic.
AVH map***

Sometimes the species is divided into 2 varieties, on the basis of leaf size. However, they are difficult to distinguish as there is gradation in leaf size even on the one plant.

Text by T. A. James & W. K. Allen
Taxon concept: Flora of NSW 3 (1992)

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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