Description: Shrubs covered with a rusty tomentum.
Leaves simple, mostly entire, sometimes sinuate or rarely shallowly lobed, glabrous or pubescent above, stellate-tomentose below; petiole usually short; stipules absent.
Flowers bisexual in axillary or leaf-opposed cymes, sometimes condensed into heads or racemes. Bracteoles usually present, 3, generally close to the calyx. Calyx mostly 5-lobed, deeply divided, persistent, but not enlarging markedly in fruit. Petals minute. Stamens 5, alternating with the sepals, free or shortly fused at the base, filaments mostly short; anthers opening by terminal pores; staminodes absent. Ovary mostly 3-locular with 2–many ovules in each loculus, tomentose; style simple, usually glabrous.
Capsule shorter than the calyx.
Distribution and occurrence: World: 30–35 species, endemic Australia. Australia: all States except N.T.
Intermediate forms between species are found in some places; great variation occurs between and within varieties of L. ferrugineum.
Text by G. J. Harden
| ||Key to the species|| |
|1||Leaves linear to narrow-oblong or narrow-lanceolate to lanceolate, usually >6 times as long as wide; rarely cordate at base; secondary veins usually not prominent on lower surface, except in L. ferrugineum||2|
|Leaves ovate to lanceolate, less than 6 times as long as wide; base mostly cordate; secondary veins obvious on lower surface of leaves, except in some Lasiopetalum ferrugineum var. cordatum||6|
|2||Calyx lobes 8–12 mm long||Lasiopetalum joyceae|
|Calyx lobes 3–8 mm long|
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|3||Calyx lobes glabrous on inner surface, whitish tomentose on outer surface||8|
|Calyx lobes distinctly hairy on both surfaces|
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|4||Leaves 2–4 mm wide; secondary veins absent or obscure on lower surface; flowers few in a pedunculate raceme||5|
|Leaves 5–12 mm wide; secondary veins prominent below; cymes dense, many-flowered, nearly sessile|
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|5||Bracteoles more than 2 mm long, 1–1.5 mm wide||Lasiopetalum rufum|
|Bracteoles 1–1.5 mm long, 0.5 mm wide|
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|6||Flowers not crowded and spike-like; stamens half as long as calyx, filaments mostly shorter than anthers||7|
|Flowers crowded in 2 one-sided rows on spike-like branches; stamens as long as calyx, filaments at least 3 times as long as anthers|
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|7||Calyx segments hairy on both surfaces||Lasiopetalum ferrugineum|
|Calyx segments glabrous on inner surface, rusty-tomentose on outer surface|
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|8||Calyx lobes c. 3 mm long; widespread on the coast and adjacent ranges.||Lasiopetalum parviflorum|
|Calyx lobes 3–8 mm long; confined to mallee area in western N.S.W|
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