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Genus Backhousia Family Myrtaceae

Synonyms: Choricarpia APNI*

Description: Trees or shrubs.

Leaves opposite, venation obvious, petiolate.

Inflorescences axillary or terminal, variable. Flowers 4- or 5-merous. Sepals often prominent, sometimes petaloid, persistent in fruit. Petals usually shorter than sepals, persistent in fruit. Stamens numerous, free in several whorls; anthers versatile. Ovary half-inferior, 2-locular; ovules few, arranged in a U-shape on an axile placenta; style long, stigma not dilated.

Fruit indehiscent or rarely schizocarpic, thin-walled; seeds depressed-ovoid, usually only 1 or 2 per fruit.

Distribution and occurrence: World: 8 species, endemic Australia. Australia: Qld, N.S.W.

B. citriodora F. Muell., the Lemon Ironwood, is often cultivated as an ornamental tree; its leaves are strongly lemon-scented when crushed.

Choricarpia is now included in Backhousia.

Text by Peter G. Wilson, updated 15 Apr. 2020
Taxon concept:

 Key to the species 
1Flowers sessile2
Flowers pedicellate3
2Peduncles 15–30 mm long; stamens 4–8 mm long, ± glabrousBackhousia leptopetala
Peduncles 4–10 mm long; stamens 2–4 mm long, tomentose
                       Back to 1
Backhousia subargentea
3Leaves <1 cm wide; lateral veins strongly ascendingBackhousia angustifolia
Leaves mostly >1cm wide; lateral veins spreading
                       Back to 1
4Leaves with acuminate apex, intramarginal vein very close to margin; branchlets hairy; sepals >5 mm long, yellowish and petaloidBackhousia myrtifolia
Leaves with obtuse apex, intramarginal vein away from margin; branchlets not conspicuously hairy; sepals <3 mm long, not petaloid
                       Back to 3
Backhousia sciadophora

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