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Genus Gaudium Family Myrtaceae

Description: Shrubs or small trees to c. 4 m.

Leaves alternate, variable in size, margins entire; sometimes aromatic when crushed; sessile to shortly petiolate.

Flowers usually solitary; ovary usually 3–6-locular.

Fruits thin-walled and usually deciduous, but some species have fruits with a somewhat succulent hypanthium and are semi-persistent. Seeds with a reticulate surface and several vertical rows of loose cells that are sometimes expanded into a narrow wing (e.g. in G. laevigatum). Unfertilised ovules (“chaff”) are readily distinguishable from fertile seeds.

Distribution and occurrence: A genus of 22 species predominantly occurring in eastern Australia but with a single species occurring in the south of Western Australia.

Species in this genus were formerly included in Leptospermum but are distinguished by the lack of woody fruits that are usually deciduous.

Text by Peter G. Wilson, Aug 2023.
Taxon concept: Wilson & Heslewood (2023) Taxon 72: 550–571

 Key to the species 
1Fruit loculi usually >5; many seeds winged2
Fruit loculi 5 or less; seeds not winged3
2Leaves light yellowish green, usually 10–20 mm long and 3–5 mm wide, obtuse, acute or acuminate; fruit usually 4–7-locularGaudium coriaceum
Leaves usually grey-green, 15–30 mm long, 5–8 mm wide, and broadly obtuse; fruit usually 6–11-locular
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Gaudium laevigatum
3Sepals very short-triangular, c. 0.5 mm long; leaves 5–10 mm long and 1–3 mm wide with the apex tending to recurveGaudium myrsinoides
Sepals, if triangular, ≥1 mm long; leaves various
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4Fruit wall succulent (coarsely wrinkled when dry); hypanthium silky with the upper part spreading widely and often glabrous; leaves mostly 5–10 mm long, 1.5–2.5 mm wide and thickGaudium semibaccatum
Fruit wall not succulent; hypanthium variously hairy or glabrous; leaves various
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5Fruit with the placenta low and the valves extended upward; leaves to c. 8 mm long, thick, obtuse and petiolateGaudium parvifolium
Fruit not as above; leaves if <10 mm not thick, obtuse and petiolate
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6Bark in many flaky layers even on leafy branches7
Bark compact, fibrous, smooth or ultimately flaking but not in many flaky layers
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7Hypanthium densely pubescent with spreading or short hairs (variable according to the population), rarely glabrous, upper part of the hypanthium not incurved; leaves mostly 10–20 mm long, 1–6 mm wide (breadth often uniform within the population)Gaudium trinervium
Hypanthium glabrous or densely silky at base, the upper part incurved over the edge of the fruit; leaves usually 15–25 mm long and 3–7 mm wide
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Gaudium subglabratum
8Hypanthium mostly glabrous but sometimes silky at the base; filaments often with spreading hairs9
Hypanthium variously hairy, sometimes with the upper part glabrescent; filaments glabrous
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9Hypanthium turgid; leaves mostly elliptic, 10–25 mm long, 2–4 mm wide and petiolateGaudium polyanthum
Hypanthium thin; leaves narrow-elliptic to oblanceolate, 10–15 mm long and 1–2 mm wide, sessile
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Gaudium deanei
10Apex of leaves with a conspicuous pungent point, the leaves subtending the flowering shoots infolded or incurved, and reflexed11
Apex of leaves obtuse or acute but if somewhat pointed not conspicuously so and with the leaves subtending the flowering shoots not infolded, incurved and reflexed
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11Sepals somewhat acute and triangular; fruit usually 3-locularGaudium divaricatum
Sepals obtuse, oblong or semicircular; fruit mostly 4-locular
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Gaudium microcarpum
12Leaf bud of flowering shoots developing prematurely so that flowers are found at the base of shoots or even branched shoots, the branching at c. 60°13
Leaf bud of flowering shoots developing with or shortly after the flowers; the branching <40°
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13Pedicels >5 mm long; leaves silky only on base and margins; in the Lithgow area, CTGaudium blakelyi
Pedicels c. 1 mm long; leaves usually silvery silky on both surfaces; confined to the Scabby Ra., ST
                       Back to 12
Gaudium namadgiense
14Fruit 3-locular, style base scarcely inset, pedicel c. 1 mm long; leaves <10 mm long, 1–3 mm wide, apex usually acute to acuminateGaudium multicaule
Fruit usually 5-locular, style inset, pedicel 2–10 mm long; leaves mostly >10 mm long, usually 2–5 mm wide, apex obtuse to short-acuminate
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Gaudium brevipes

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