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Genus Duma Family Polygonaceae

Description: Perennial much-branched shrubs, dioecious, glabrous; branches flexuose, terete, striate, with thorn-like branch tips; bark whitish or glaucous.

Leaves petiolate or sessile, lanceolate or linear, with a minute recurved spine or mucro at the apex, and with a band of abscission tissue at base of petiole; pit nectaries absent; ocrea short-tubular, hyaline, membranaceous, not ciliate on upper margin, soon disintegrating.

Flowers unisexual, in subsessile clusters at the nodes or in axillary or terminal interrupted spike-like inflorescences. Perianth segments 5(-6), sepaloid, enlarging and fleshy, thickened and dry when fruiting, not winged. Stamens 8 in male flowers; anthers versatile; staminodes present in female flowers, and pistillodes often present in male flowers. Style 3-fid, short; stigmas flattened, peltate, fimbriate, delicate.

Achene trigonous or ovoid, with acute apex, smooth, shining, at least partly enclosed by the persistent perianth.

Photo J.S. Benson

Photo J. Plaza

Other photo
Photo J. Merrin

Distribution and occurrence: World: 3 species, Australia (endemic), all States.

See Schuster, Wilson and Kron (2011; DOI: 10.1086/661293) on phylogeny of this genus.

Text by K.L. Wilson (Aug 2012)
Taxon concept:

 Key to the species 
1Big mounded shrub to 3 m high with interwining branches; perianth slightly thickened in fruit; leaves 2–10 mm wide; flower clusters forming axillary or terminal spike-like inflorescences 2–12 cm long, sometimes compound; occasionally solitary clusters at nodes on stems; stems regularly and usually strongly striate, not fissured or corky; anthers 0.4–1.0 mm longDuma florulenta
Depauperate erect shrub to 50 cm high; perianth strongly thickened and angular in fruit; mature leaves no more than 2 mm wide; flower clusters at distinctly separated nodes on stems; older stems very rough, corky, fissured or wrinkled or smooth or faintly and irregularly striate; anthers 0.8–1.3 mm longDuma horrida

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