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Genus Pultenaea Family Fabaceae
Subfamily Faboideae

Description: Procumbent to erect shrubs.

Leaves usually alternate but occasionally opposite or in whorls of 3, simple or 1-foliolate, margins entire; stipules scarious, fused for part or most of their length behind the petiole.

Flowers usually orange-yellow with reddish markings, axillary but often crowded in apparently terminal heads; bracteoles attached to the calyx tube or rarely to the pedicel, 1–3-lobed (lateral lobes stipules). Standard equal to or longer than the lower petals. Stamens free. Ovary pubescent to glabrous, sometimes glabrous except for a tuft of hairs near the apex; style filiform; ovules 2.

Pods ovate, flat or turgid; seeds arillate.


Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 100 spp., endemic Aust., all States except N.T.

This genus is under revision.

Text by P.H. Weston & R.P.J. de Kok
Taxon concept:

Taxa not yet included in identification key
Pultenaea acanthocalyx,    Pultenaea aculeata,    Pultenaea boormanii,    Pultenaea campbellii,    Pultenaea corrickiae,    Pultenaea cunninghamii,    Pultenaea elusa,    Pultenaea estelleae,    Pultenaea farmeriana,    Pultenaea forsythiana,    Pultenaea furcata,    Pultenaea gunnii,    Pultenaea hoskingii,    Pultenaea imminuta,    Pultenaea lapidosa,    Pultenaea mucronata,    Pultenaea mutabilis,    Pultenaea percussa,    Pultenaea praecipua,    Pultenaea sericea,    Pultenaea setigera,    Pultenaea sp. Blackheath (M.J.Tyler 322 & R.G.Coveny),    Pultenaea sp. Blakney Creek (E.M.Canning 6809),    Pultenaea sp. Bucketty (C.Burgess s.n., 28 Sept. 1963),    Pultenaea sp. Conimbla (D.E.Albrecht 15178),    Pultenaea sp. Crookwell (D.L.Jones 17042 & M.Garratt),    Pultenaea sp. Kanangara-Boyd (K.McDougall 704 & M.Gray),    Pultenaea sp. Kiandra (R.Pullen 4453),    Pultenaea sp. Lobs Hole (M.E.Phillips 176),    Pultenaea sp. Maules Creek (M.V.Robinson s.n., NSW1115296),    Pultenaea sp. Mount Canobolas (R.Coveny 4191b),    Pultenaea sp. Nandewar Range (D.F.Mackay 863),    Pultenaea sp. Narrabri (R.G.Coveny 8811 & S.K.Roy),    Pultenaea sp. New England (R.Coveny 16631),    Pultenaea sp. Oakey Creek (R.Coveny 5285),    Pultenaea sp. Piliga (R.Coveny 2359),    Pultenaea sp. Pound Creek Station (P.H.Weston 3370 & P.Bernhardt),    Pultenaea sp. Queanbeyan (E.Gilbert 950001 et al.),    Pultenaea sp. Snowy Mountains (N.Taws 261),    Pultenaea sp. Sutton (C.Burgess s.n., 20 Oct. 1963),    Pultenaea sp. Tumut (J.K.Whiting 98),    Pultenaea sp. Wagga Wagga (G.Burrows 13),    Pultenaea sp. Werrikimbe NP (L.M. Copeland 4477),    Pultenaea sp. Wide Bay (D.A.Halford Q8883 & G.P.Guymer),    Pultenaea sp. Woolomin (J.R.Hosking 2072 et al.),    Pultenaea sp. Woomargama (E.J.McBarron 2493),    Pultenaea sp. Yadboro (G.P.McDonald 46-85),    Pultenaea subternata,    Pultenaea tenebrosa,    Pultenaea williamsii

 Key to the species 
1Leaves with margins recurved or revolute or if flat then darker on the upper surface2
Leaves with margins incurved or involute or if flat then darker on the lower surface3
2Bracts conspicuously imbricate, surrounding the terminal, dense inflorescences4
Bracts absent or not conspicuously imbricate; inflorescences subterminal to terminal, lax to dense, often leafy
                       Back to 1
3Ovary pubescent to the base25
Ovary glabrous or with hairs only at the apex
                       Back to 1
4Bracts caducous5
Bracts persistent
                       Back to 2
5Leaves with apex lacking an aristate point6
Leaves with apex aristate
                       Back to 4
6Flowers 5–7 mm long; calyx 3–4 mm long, teeth acute; leaf apex usually emarginatePultenaea retusa
Flowers 7–10 mm long; calyx 4–5 mm long, teeth acuminate; leaf apex rounded and usually minutely indented
                       Back to 5
Pultenaea platyphylla
7Leaves cuneate to obovate, apex rounded, truncate or rarely retuse; bracteoles predominantly pubescent, attached to the upper part of the calyx tubePultenaea daphnoides
Leaves narrow-elliptic to linear, apex acute; bracteoles predominantly glabrous, attached near the centre of the calyx tube
                       Back to 5
Pultenaea benthamii
8Hairs on the calyx appressed throughout9
Hairs on the calyx, or at least on the upper part of the calyx, spreading
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9Bracts predominantly glabrous10
Bracts predominantly pubescent
                       Back to 8
10Lateral teeth of the bracts acute to acuminate, sparsely ciliate11
Lateral teeth of the bracts obtuse, the margins densely ciliate
                       Back to 9
Pultenaea myrtoides
11Longest leaves 25–40 mm longPultenaea robusta
Longest leaves 12–23 mm long
                       Back to 10
12Flowers 10–12 mm long, sessile; longest leaves to 23 mm; bracteoles 4–6 mm long; small spreading shrub or subshrubPultenaea paleacea
Flowers 5–7 mm long, pedicellate; longest leaves to 17 mm; bracteoles 3–3.6 mm long; diminutive procumbent subshrub
                       Back to 11
Pultenaea parrisiae
13Leaves mostly >20 mm long; bracteoles aristatePultenaea rosmarinifolia
Leaves mostly <15 mm long; bracteoles tending to be 3–5-toothed
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14Bracteoles 3–5 mm long, narrow-ovate, not keeled, attached to the middle or lower part of the calyx tubePultenaea capitellata
Bracteoles 5–7 mm long, obovate, keeled, attached below the base of the calyx tube
                       Back to 13
Pultenaea pycnocephala
15Leaves with apex aristate; teeth of the calyx acuminate with fine pungent pointsPultenaea polifolia
Leaves with apex recurved, teeth of the calyx acuminate or acute without pungent points
                       Back to 8
Pultenaea linophylla
16Ovary glabrous except at the apex; stipules 5–10 mm longPultenaea stipularis
Ovary pubescent to the base; stipules less than 5 mm long
                       Back to 2
17Pedicels >3 mm longPultenaea pedunculata
Pedicels <3 mm long
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18Stems with appressed hairs19
Stems with spreading hairs
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19Leaves with margins tightly revolute; bracteoles linear, attached at middle of calyx tubePultenaea cinerascens
Leaves with margins flat to slightly revolute; bracteoles narrow-triangular, attached at base of calyx tube
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20Leaves narrow- to linear-obovate, 0.5–2 mm wide, concolorousPultenaea microphylla
Leaves narrow-obtriangular to obtriangular, 2–6 mm wide, upper surface darker than lower
                       Back to 19
Pultenaea cuneata
21Leaves linearPultenaea petiolaris
Leaves oblong to obtriangular or elliptic to obovate
                       Back to 18
22Leaves elliptic to obovatePultenaea tarik
Leaves oblong to obtriangular
                       Back to 21
23Upper surface of leaves glabrous, smoothPultenaea cuneata
Upper surface of leaves hairy and/or scabrous
                       Back to 22
24Calyx with sparse spreading hairs; bracteoles 1–2 mm longPultenaea hartmannii
Calyx silky-pubescent to densely hirsute; bracteoles 3–5 mm long
                       Back to 23
Pultenaea scabra
25Leaves terete with a groove on the upper surface26
Leaves flat, or with incurved to involute margins
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26Calyx with appressed hairs27
Calyx with spreading or woolly hairs
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27Calyx silky-pubescent; bracteoles <2.5 mm long, lacking stipules, narrow-ovatePultenaea fasciculata
Calyx covered with stiff pale hairs; bracteoles >2.5 mm long, minutely stipulate, linear to linear-obovate
                       Back to 26
Pultenaea laxiflora
28Bracteoles 6–7 mm long; calyx with woolly hairs; stipules 5–7 mm longPultenaea baeuerlenii
Bracteoles 2–3 mm long; calyx with spreading hairs; stipules 1.5–3 mm long
                       Back to 26
29Leaves 7–15 mm long, 0.5–0.8 mm wide, lower surface densely tuberculate; calyx 2–5.5 mm longPultenaea divaricata
Leaves 15–35 mm long, 0.8–1.8 mm wide, lower surface smooth; calyx 6–7 mm long
                       Back to 28
Pultenaea rodwayi
30Hairs on the calyx spreading or absent; leaves alternate31
Hairs on the calyx silky and appressed; leaves alternate, subopposite or opposite
                       Back to 25
31Leaves with apex with a long or short aristate point32
Leaves with apex leaf lacking an aristate point
                       Back to 30
32Bracteoles almost orbicular, viscidPultenaea vrolandii
Bracteoles ovate, not viscid
                       Back to 31
33Bracts three lobed, leaves 1.5–2.5 mm widePultenaea juniperina
Bracts absent, leaves 2–7 mm wide
                       Back to 32
Pultenaea villifera
34Leaves 3–6.5 mm long, oblong; stipules and bracteole somewhat viscidPultenaea hispidula
Leaves up to 10–20 mm long, narrow-ovate to linear; stipules and bracteole viscid
                       Back to 31
Pultenaea mollis
35Bracts absent or inconspicuous36
Bracts imbricate, conspicuous
                       Back to 30
36Leaves mostly opposite, 10–20 mm long; lower surface darker than upperPultenaea blakelyi
Leaves alternate, 2–9 mm long, concolorous
                       Back to 35
Pultenaea microphylla
37Bracteoles lacking stipulesPultenaea largiflorens
Bracteoles with stipules
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38Petioles not decurrent on stem; leaves linear to linear-obovate, terete with a groove on the upper surface; bracteoles 2.8–5 mm long, fused to the stipules at basePultenaea laxiflora
Petioles decurrent on stem; leaves elliptic to narrow-obovate, concave; bracteoles c. 2 mm long, fused to stipules to middle
                       Back to 37
Pultenaea dentata
39Ovary glabrous40
Ovary with a tuft of hairs at apex
                       Back to 3
40Leaves usually whorled or opposite and decussate; venation of leaves palmate, usually with 3 main veins from base (although sometimes the main lateral veins obscure); base of leaves obtuse to roundedPultenaea spinosa
Leaves alternate; venation of leaves with only 1 main vein; base of leaves attenuate to cuneate
                       Back to 39
41Bracteoles circular to broad-ovatePultenaea altissima
Bracteoles longer than broad
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42Leaves involute to generally U-shaped in cross sectionPultenaea glabra
Leaves flat or slightly concave in cross section
                       Back to 41
43Leaves with apex emarginate to round, straightPultenaea euchila
Leaves with apex acute to acuminate, straight to recurved
                       Back to 42
44Leaves with apex straight and aristatePultenaea flexilis
Leaves with apex recurved and not aristate
                       Back to 43
Pultenaea alea
45Bracteoles 2- or 3-lobed, beige, with frayed margins, enlarged and deeply concave, almost covering the calyxPultenaea tuberculata
Bracteoles 1- or 3-lobed, variously coloured but the lateral lobes (stipules) being reddish brown, with entire margins, not obscuring much of the calyx
                       Back to 39
46Bracteoles 1-lobed (apparently lacking stipules)47
Bracteoles 3-lobed (with distinct stipules, although these may be small and largely hidden behind the bracteole)
                       Back to 45
47Inflorescences lax, leafy racemes48
Inflorescences dense, head-like
                       Back to 46
48Leaves terete and grooved on upper surface, 0.5–1 mm widePultenaea sp. Olinda (Coveny 6616)
Leaves flat or shallowly concave, 1.5–25 mm wide
                       Back to 47
49Petioles decurrent on stem50
Petioles not decurrent on stem
                       Back to 48
50Leaves with apex acute to acuminatePultenaea flexilis
Leaves with apex emarginate to rounded
                       Back to 49
Pultenaea euchila
51Leaves with base obtuse to rounded; leaves usually whorled or opposite and decussatePultenaea spinosa
Leaves with base attenuate to cuneate; leaves alternate
                       Back to 49
52Branchlets drooping; hairs on leaves stiff, usually erectPultenaea villosa
Branchlets ascending to erect; hairs on leaves soft, appressed or ascending
                       Back to 51
Pultenaea humilis
53Leaves warty54
Leaves smooth
                       Back to 47
54Leaves with tufts of minute needle-like hairs on the warts, concave with involute margins, 1–2 mm wide; stipules 5–6 mm longPultenaea aristata
Leaves without tufts of needle-like hairs on the warts, often with long hairs on the leaf margins, terete and grooved on upper surface, 0.5–1 mm wide; stipules c. 3 mm long
                       Back to 53
Pultenaea echinula
55Leaves linear, apex acuminate56
Leaves elliptic to oblong or ovate, apex acute to obtuse or rounded or emarginate
                       Back to 53
56Leaves flat to shallowly concave; stipules 7.5–10 mm longPultenaea stipularis
Leaves deeply concave or terete and grooved above; stipules 2–6 mm long
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57Leaves 10–20 mm long, concave with involute margins when driedPultenaea glabra
Leaves 5–10 mm long, terete and grooved above when dried
                       Back to 56
Pultenaea sp. Olinda (Coveny 6616)
58Petioles decurrent on stem; stems glabrousPultenaea euchila
Petioles not decurrent on stem; stems spreading-pubescent
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Pultenaea humilis
59Apex of leaves long- or short-acuminate to an aristate point60
Apex of leaves acute to rounded but lacking a point
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60Leaves linear to narrow-obovate to narrow-elliptic, 0.5–1.5 mm wide; leaf venation with only 1 main veinPultenaea setulosa
Leaves ovate to rhombic to broad-rhombic, 1–25 mm wide; leaf venation palmate, usually with 3 main veins from base (although sometimes the main lateral veins obscure)
                       Back to 59
61Leaves usually whorled or opposite and decussate, usually straight; tip of calyx teeth acutePultenaea spinosa
Leaves alternate, recurved; tip of calyx teeth acuminate
                       Back to 60
Pultenaea procumbens
62Leaves mostly <3 mm long; leaf base usually obtuse to roundedPultenaea foliolosa
Leaves mostly >3 mm long; leaf base attenuate to cuneate
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63Bracteolar stipules fused to bracteole to half its lengthPultenaea subspicata
Bracteolar stipules free or fused only basally to bracteole
                       Back to 62
64Bracteoles inserted at the base of the calyx tube65
Bracteoles inserted on the calyx tube
                       Back to 63
65Stipules 4–6 mm longPultenaea canescens
Stipules 1–3 mm long
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66Prostrate, mat-forming shrubs with ascending branchlets; leaves glabrous or with soft, appressed to ascending hairsPultenaea maritima
Erect to spreading shrubs with drooping branchlets; leaves hairy with hairs stiff, usually spreading
                       Back to 65
Pultenaea villosa
67Calyx glabrous on the outer surface except for a few hairs on the teethPultenaea parviflora
Calyx moderately hairy on the outer surface
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68Erect to spreading shrubs with drooping branchlets; leaves with hairs stiff, usually spreadingPultenaea villosa
Erect to procumbent shrubs with erect to ascending branchlets; leaves with hairs soft, appressed to ascending
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69Leaves narrow-spathulate to oblanceolate to narrow-elliptic or narrow-oblongPultenaea rostrata
Leaves obovate to spathulate
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Pultenaea ferruginea

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