Description: Scrambling or climbing shrubs, glabrous throughout, nodes with a single cavity. Stems with conspicuous raised lenticels.
Leaves opposite, simple, shortly petiolate, lamina serrate or entire; stipules variously described as present and minute, or absent with minute multicellular glandular trichomes present on each side of the nodes.
Flowers axillary, solitary or in cymes, actinomorphic, bisexual; pedicels with two medial prophylls; hypanthium short. Sepals 4, mostly free, imbricate in lower part, greatly enlarging as fruit develops, persistent, arranged in pairs at slightly different levels. Petals minute or absent (variable even in the same plant). Stamens 8; anthers basifixed, latrorse-introrse, dehiscing by longitudinal slits. Gynoecium of 4 laterally fused carpels. Ovary one quarter to half-inferior, 4-locular, deeply 4-furrowed; style 4-lobed with 4 canals; stigmas terminal, densely papillate. Ovules 1 per locule; placentation axile.
Fruit nut-like, 1-seeded, surrounded by persistent sepals. Seed reniform; embryo curved; endosperm fleshy.
Distribution and occurrence: World: 1 genus, 2 species, endemic Australia. Australia: 1 species SW W.A., 1 species E Australia
Angiosperm Phylogeny Website (Family: Aphanopetalaceae, Order: Saxifragales)
Text by Val Stajsic, adapted by Kerry Gibbons 13 Apr. 2023.
Taxon concept: APG IV, Flora of Australia; Distribution and occurrence: Australian Plant Census [both accessed 13 Apr. 2023].
|One genus in NSW: Aphanopetalum|