Description: Annual to perennial herbs, stems erect or spreading.
Leaves narrow-linear or rarely ovate, sometimes appearing whorled; stipules small, scarious.
Flowers in terminal cymes; bracts conspicuous, scarious, white, pink, or purple. Sepals 5, entirely scarious or sometimes herbaceous in the centre with scarious edges. Petals 5, entire or toothed. Stamens 5. Style with 3 lobes or teeth.
Capsule 3-valved; seeds subglobose, pale brown except for a dark furrow round the outer edge of the seed.
Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 50 species, Australia, Asia, Africa & South America. Australia: 12 species, Qld, N.S.W., N.T., S.A., W.A.
Text by A. Doust
Taxa not yet included in identification key
| ||Key to the species|| |
|1||Inflorescence leafy; sepals all white or occasionally yellowish and slightly thickened at base||Polycarpaea arida|
|Inflorescence leafless; sepals with a reddish triangle at base or a reddish brown to purplish brown midrib||2|
|2||Sepals with a reddish brown to purplish brown midrib; petals fused at base||Polycarpaea spirostylis|
|Sepals thickened and with a more or less reddish triangular patch at the base; petals free|
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