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Genus Comesperma Family Polygalaceae

Description: Slender shrubs or twiners.

Leaves alternate, often caducous or reduced to scales.

Flowers in single or clustered terminal racemes, occasionally in axillary racemes or solitary, each subtended by a caducous bract and bracteoles at base. Sepals 5, unequal, 2 inner sepals large and wing-like ± petaloid. Petals 3, or 5 with 2 reduced or vestigial, lower two petals ± united to form a keel or usually lobed or pouched. Stamens 8, fused with petals for about half their length, and either diadelphous and sessile, or free; anthers opening by apical pores. Ovary 2-locular, laterally compressed; style flattened and bent below a broad, truncate, 2-lobed or bifurcate apex with stigma on one side.

Fruit a compressed cuneate capsule with a narrow marginal wing; seeds with hairs lengthening into a coma.

Distribution and occurrence: World: 24 species, endemic Australia. Australia: all States.

Text by L. Murray
Taxon concept:

Taxa not yet included in identification key
Comesperma breviflorum

 Key to the species 
1Leafy erect plants; stamens diadelphous above middle2
Sparsely-leaved plants, often climbing or lax; stamens free above the middle4
2Leaves with margins recurved to revolute, rarely flat but then lower surface pale-coloured with midvein conspicuousComesperma ericinum
Leaves flat or slightly keeled
                       Back to 1
3Leaves with apex acute or obtuse, mucronate; outer sepals a quarter as long as the wing sepalsComesperma sylvestre
Leaves usually obtuse, not mucronate; outer sepals about half as long as the wing sepals
                       Back to 2
Comesperma retusum
4Stems twining5
Stems stiff or lax but not twining
                       Back to 1
5Inflorescences axillary, pedicel and calyx usually glabrousComesperma volubile
Inflorescences terminal on short branches, pedicel with short appressed hairs, calyx ciliate
                       Back to 4
Comesperma integerrimum
6Outer sepals c. 1 mm long, wing sepals mostly 2–3 mm long; fruit long-attenuate at baseComesperma defoliatum
Outer sepals c. 3 mm long, wing sepals mostly c. 6 mm long; fruit not long-attenuate at base
                       Back to 4
Comesperma sphaerocarpum

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