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Genus Exocarpos Family Santalaceae
Common Name: Ballarts

Synonyms: Exocarpus orth. var. Pers. APNI*

Description: Shrubs or trees; branchlets angular to terete, glabrous, pubescent or scabrous.

Leaves alternate, sometimes opposite, persistent or caducous.

Inflorescence of axillary clusters or spikes. Flowers minute, sessile or subsessile, mostly bisexual. Tepals 4 or 5, greenish yellow, free. Stamens often incurved over style. Disc flat and only apparent in male flowers. Ovary conical, superior, fleshy; stigma entire or obscurely lobed.

Fruit a drupe or nut, ± globular, resting on an enlarged, succulent pedicel; exocarp thin, green or brown; tepals persistent or caducous. Host species belong to a wide range of families including FABACEAE, Myrtaceae, Proteaceae and Casuarinaceae.

Distribution and occurrence: World: 26 species, South-East Asia & Pac. Is. Australia: 10 species (9 species endemic), all States. Ballarts

Text by B. Wiecek
Taxon concept:

Taxa not yet included in identification key
Exocarpos homalocladus

 Key to the species 
1Leaves more than 15 mm wide, obovate to elliptic, several-veined, persistentExocarpos latifolius
Leaves less than 2 mm wide, scale-like or linear more or less veinless, often caducous2
2Leaves opposite or almost so, prostrate or low shrubs of high altitudesExocarpos nanus
Leaves alternate, erect shrubs of low to medium altitudes
                       Back to 1
3Flowers in elongated spikes; branches not rigid, slender4
Flowers in short clusters or very condensed spikes; branches more or less rigid, sometimes more or less slender
                       Back to 2
4Leaves linear-subulate 2–10 mm long, apex hooked, more or less persistent; usually a shrub to 4 m high with a weeping crown; bark smooth and pinkishExocarpos sparteus
Leaves triangular, c. 0.5 mm long, apex not hooked (except on suckering shoots), caducous; shrub or small tree to 8 m high with a rounded or pyramidal crown; bark dark and rough
                       Back to 3
Exocarpos cupressiformis
5Branchlets acutely 2- or 3-angled; leaves linear-subulate, 1–3 mm longExocarpos strictus
Branches usually terete; leaves ovate, c. 1 mm long
                       Back to 3
Exocarpos aphyllus

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