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Genus Roepera Family Zygophyllaceae

Synonyms: Zygophyllum pro parte APNI*

Description: Annual herbs or perennial subshrubs with fleshy branches and leaves, glabrous or almost so.

Leaves opposite, usually petiolate, with 1 pair [or rarely several pairs] of leaflets, or sessile and simple, [linear or] apically 2-lobed.

Flowers solitary, axillary, usually pedicellate. Sepals 4 or 5, imbricate, with green centre and membranous margins. Petals 4 or 5, rarely 3 or 6, imbricate, clawed, yellow, white or orange [rarely red]. Stamens 4, 6, 8 or 10. Disc between stamens and ovary sinuate or distinctly 3–5-lobed or 3–5-partite, the lobes at base of septa that separate the loculi of the ovary. Ovary 3–5-locular, 3–5-angled; style subulate; stigma ± globose or lobed.

Fruit a 4- or 5-angled loculicidal capsule, or indehiscent and with 3 or 4 vertical wings, or breaking into 2 or 4 dorsally winged cocci; seeds with endosperm, 1–6 per loculus, often mucilaginous when wet.

Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 150 species, Mediterranean to C Asia, southern Africa & Australia, in deserts and steppes. Australia: c. 30 species, all mainland States and Bass Strait islands.

Roepera includes species previously included in Zygophyllum. All Australian species are now included in Roepera (RM Barker, Fl. Aust. 26, 2013, edited K.L. Gibbons Aug 2019).

Text by Hj. Eichler (1992); edited KL Wilson (Jan 2014) and K.L.Gibbons (Aug 2019).
Taxon concept: Beier, B.-A., Chase, M.W. & Thulin, M. (2003), Phylogenetic relationships and taxonomy of subfamily Zygophylloideae (Zygophyllaceae) based on molecular and morphological data. Plant Systematics and Evolution 240, 11–39

Taxa not yet included in identification key
Roepera compressa

 Key to the species 
1Fruit 3- or 4-winged, more or less globose in outline, indehiscent or septicidally breaking into up to 4 cocci; filaments without wings or appendages in lower part2
Fruits 4- or 5-angled, more or less globose or obovoid to cylindrical, loculicidal; filaments in lower part often winged or with more or less stipular appendages4
2Fruit 3-winged; stamens 6; leaves sessile, cuneate, with 2 short broad obtuse lobes at apex, upper pairs fused at base; annualRoepera howittii
Fruit 4-winged; stamens 8; leaves petiolate, with 1 pair of linear leaflets, upper pairs not fused; mostly perennial
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3Petals obovate, obtuse or faintly notched at apex, golden-yellow; fruit 12–18 mm long, splitting into 2–4 cocci when ripe; seeds usually 1 (rarely 2) in each coccusRoepera aurantiaca
Petals narrow-oblanceolate, more or less acute at apex, pale lemon-yellow; fruit 8–12 mm long, indehiscent; seeds usually only 1 in each fruit
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Roepera eremaea
4Capsule 5-locular, 5-angled; flowers 5-merous; stamens 105
Capsule 4-locular, 4-angled; flowers 4-merous; stamens 8 or 4
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5Capsule truncate at apex, with a short blunt appendage at upper corner of each angle, more or less turbinate; perennial, woody at baseRoepera apiculata
Capsule rounded at apex, without appendages at the angles, more or less globose; herbaceous annual
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Roepera iodocarpa
6Capsule almost sessile, often more or less erect, narrow-cylindrical to narrow-ellipsoidal, with 4 erect thick appendages at apexRoepera prismatotheca
Capsule distinctly pedicellate, drooping, broader, without erect appendages at apex
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7Leaflets usually crenate at apex (i.e. with 3 blunt teeth); annualRoepera crenata
Leaflets entire or notched at apex; annual or perennial
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8Capsule truncate at apex9
Capsule rounded at apex; annual
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9Perennial; capsule 6–11 mm long; petals yellow10
Annual; capsule 5–7 mm long; petals yellow or white
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10Leaflets continuous from petiole; petals obovate, 9–12 mm long, longer than the sepals; shrub with more or less self-supporting stems and branchesRoepera confluens
Leaflets articulate at base; petals narrow-obovate to elliptic, 4–8 mm long, scarcely exceeding the sepals; shrub with very slender stems and branches, usually leaning on stronger bushes
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Roepera angustifolia
11Petals yellow; at least some filaments with stipular appendages in lower part; leaflets mostly cuneate and distinctly emarginate at apex; capsule broader than long; stamens 8Roepera emarginata
Petals white; filaments usually broadened in lower part, without stipular appendages; leaflets linear to narrow-oblong rounded or truncate (rarely slightly emarginate) at apex; capsule usually more or less longer than broad; stamens 8 or 4
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12Stamens 4; petals narrow-obovate to narrow-elliptic, usually as long as or slightly longer than petals; seeds 3 or 4 per loculus; leaflets narrow-oblong, more or less abruptly truncate, sometimes rounded to almost emarginate at apexRoepera ammophila
Stamens 8; petals cuneate, shorter than to as long as sepals, more or less 3-lobed at apex; seed 1–2 per loculus; leaflets very narrow-obovate, rounded at apex
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Roepera similis
13Petals white, usually shorter than sepals; capsule ellipsoidal, c. 8 mm long; leaflets continuous from petiole; seeds usually 2 per loculusRoepera ovata
13Petals white, usually shorter than sepals; capsule ellipsoidal, c. 8 mm long; leaflets continuous from petiole; seeds usually 2 per loculusRoepera ovata
Petals yellow, longer than sepals; capsule subglobose and very small or oblong-ovoid and more than 10 mm long; leaflets continuous from petiole or articulate at base; seeds 1, 3 or 4 per loculus
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14Capsule subglobose, 3–4 mm long; 1 seed per loculus; leaflets not articulate, cuneate to more or less oblong, ± 1 cm long, mostly notched at apex; petals c. 3 mm longRoepera humillima
Capsule oblong-ovoid to oblong-obovoid, 14–18 mm long; usually 3 or 4 seeds per loculus; leaflets articulate at base, obliquely obovate, 1–4 cm long, rounded at apex; petals 8–15 mm long
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Roepera glauca

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