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Family Proteaceae

Description: Shrubs or trees, usually with short 3-celled hairs; lignotubers in some species; proteoid roots produced in most genera.

Leaves alternate or sometimes opposite or whorled, mostly leathery or scleromorphic; generally simple with entire or toothed margins, sometimes pinnatisect, or rarely compound; stipules absent.

Inflorescences basically racemose (often leafy in Persoonia), sometimes dense and head-like or compound (conflorescences); conflorescences raceme-like, often condensed and either cone-like or spike-like, with flowers commonly in pairs; flower pairs often shortly stalked, small bracts frequently below the pair and individual flowers. Flowers usually bisexual, actinomorphic to strongly zygomorphic. Perianth usually of 4 petaloid tepals, free, cohering into a tube or fused and ± strap-shaped. Stamens usually 4, usually all fertile; filaments partly or wholly fused to the tepals; anthers 2-locular, dehiscence usually introrse by longitudinal slits, rarely half of the anther does not develop. Hypogynous glands often present, fleshy or scale-like, usually 4, free and alternating with the tepals, or sometimes absent or fused. Gynoecium of 1 carpel; ovary superior, 1-locular, ovules 1-many; style simple, usually long, commonly expanded below or aroundthe small stigma into a pollen presenter.

Fruit either a dehiscent woody or leathery follicle or a drupe or an indehiscent fleshy drupe-like fruit or small nut; seeds 1-many, often winged in dehiscent fruits.

Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 80 gen., c. 1780 spp., widespread in S Hemi. with a few genera extending north into China, Asia, Afr. & C Amer. Aust.: 47 gen., c. 1110 spp., all States.

External links:
Angiosperm Phylogeny Website (Family: Proteaceae, Order: Proteales)

Taxa not yet included in identification key
Athertonia,    Eidothea

 Key to the genera 
1Inflorescences 7-flowered heads consisting of a central terminal flower surrounded by a ring of 6 flowers which in turn are surrounded by a conspicuous involucre; flowers red; fruit a woody follicle bearing 2 conspicuous lateral, subterminal horns.Lambertia
Inflorescences not consistently 7-flowered, not terminated by a flower; involucre absent or present; flowers variously coloured; fruit dehiscent or indehsicent, only occasionally horned.2
2Flowers sessile in dense cone-like, globose to cylindrical inflorescences or conflorescences, the bracts becoming woody in fruit.3
flowers pedicellate to sessile, but not in cone-like, globose to cylindrical inflorescences or conflorescences; bracts not becoming woody.
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3Flowering and fruiting conflorescence axis usually >5 cm long and with flowers borne in pairs; fruit a persistent, transversely orientated follicle; leaves usually toothed or less frequently entire.Banksia
Flowering and fruiting inflorescence axis usually <5 cm long and with flowers borne singly on axis; fruit a caducous, radially or bilaterally symmetrical nut; leaves usually divided into segments or rarely entire;
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4Cone scales falling with the fruits, nuts not strongly compressed; inflorescences globose, perianth tube not split to the base.Isopogon
Cone scales firmly adhering to the rachis and opening to release the flattened nuts; inflorescences longer than broad, perianth tube split to base.
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5Leaves opposite or whorled or pseudo-whorled.6
Leaves alternate.
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6Fruit falling at maturity, either indehiscent or a tardily dehiscent, leathery, globose follicle, <3 cm long.7
Fruit persistent on plant for several to many years, a woody follicle, ellipsoid to pear-shaped, >5 cm long.
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7Flowers borne in regular, sessile or shortly pedunculate pairs on the inflorescence axis; style-tip swollen, functioning as a pollen presenter.8
Flowers borne singly in the axils of scale leaves or leaves in racemose or capituliform inflorescences; style-tip not swollen, not functioning as a pollen presenter.
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8Perianth strongly zygomorphic; hypogynous glands free, 4 or 2; pericarp fleshy, red to purple to blue.Triunia
Perianth actinomorphic; hypogynous glands connate, forming a ring around ovary; pericarp leathery, green to brown or greyish .
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9Perianth strongly zygomorphic.10
Perianth actinomorphic or almost so.
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10Flowers in dense, erect, head-like conflorescences surrounded by an involucre of enlarged bracts; tepals glabrous.Telopea
Flowers not in condensed head-like conflorescences surrounded by involucral bracts, or if so (Grevillea polybractea), then conflorescences decurved and tepals villous outside.
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11Conflorescences umbel-like with flower pairs radiating from the apex, or bearing only 1 flower pair; outer integument of ovule developing into a wing-like envelope that loosely surrounds the winged seed.12
Conflorescences not as above; outer integument of ovule not developing into a loose envelope; seed winged or not.
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12Conflorescences <10-flowered; ovules 2; seed solitary; shrubs <2 m high.Strangea
Conflorescences 10–20-flowered; ovules and seeds numerous; shrubs or trees to 35 m high.
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13Ovules >2; follicles with several seeds.14
Ovules 1 or 2; fruit a small nut or a 1- or 2-seeded follicle.
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14Flowers pinkish red, in short, broad, unbranched conflorescences; tepals 3–4 cm long.Alloxylon
Flowers white to yellowish, in elongated, often branching conflorescences; tepals 0.5–1.5 cm long.
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15Fruit a follicle; flowers borne in regular, sessile pairs on the conflorescence axis; style tip functioning as a pollen presenter, usually swollen and often oblique.16
Fruit a small nut crowned with a ring of hairs; flowers borne singly on the inflorescence axis; style tip not modified as a pollen presenter.
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16Follicles woody with secondary thickening formed by a cambium layer; leaves terete or both surfaces similar.Hakea
Follicles thin, crustaceous or leathery; leaves not terete (although subterete with a ridge on the upper surface in G. nematophylla), usually with upper and lower surfaces different.
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17Style tip not modified as a pollen presenter; fruit indehiscent, either a drupe or a small nut; flowers borne singly on the inflorescence axis, not regularly paired.18
Style tip functioning as a pollen presenter (except in Orites), usually swollen and often oblique; fruit usually a follicle or occasionally indehiscent; flowers borne in regular, sessile or shortly pedunculate pairs on the conflorescence axis.
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18Leaves divided into segments; fruit a nut.Symphionema
Leaves entire; fruit a drupe.
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19Nectary a solitary horseshoe-shaped gland; seeds winged at each end or with a terminal elaiosome (oil body); shrubs of inland mallee and shrubland or coastal sandy heath.20
Nectary composed of 4 free glands that alternate with the tepals; seed winged at one end or wingless, lacking an elaiosome; small to large trees of rainforest or rainforest margins or shrubs of alpine shrubland and woodland.
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20Leaves entire; follicles 3–4 cm long; grows in coastal heath north from Byron Bay area, NC.Strangea
Leaves bipinnatisect; follicles usually <3 cm long; inland communities in the Griffith area, CWS SWP (only one species G. anethifolia).
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21Leaves usually >35 cm long, pinnate to pinnatisect with prickly, toothed margins; fruit indehiscent, bright red when ripe.Hicksbeachia
Leaves <35 cm long, simple to deeply divided, with entire or toothed margins; fruit dehiscent or if indehiscent then not bright red.
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22Apex of styles not enlarged; fruit a follicle.Orites
Apex of styles swollen, modified as a pollen presenter; fruit indehiscent.
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23Leaves entire and >4 times as long as broad; mature fruit brown, 2–4 cm diam.Floydia
Leaves toothed or if entire then <4 times as long as broad; mature fruit blue to black, 1–1.5 cm diam.
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