Description: Annual or perennial herbs, glabrous or hairy with woolly to cobwebby hairs.
Leaves cauline, all alternate or some opposite at base, margins entire, sessile.
Inflorescences corymbose or heads clustered; heads broadly hemispherical to ± globose, discoid; involucral bracts in several series, remaining ± intact in fruit, outer bracts scarious or hyaline, inner similar but with a ± herbaceous central region, or with a broad herbaceous-pubescent claw with hyaline margins; receptacle convex to conical, naked, pitted. Florets numerous, all bisexual and fertile, 4- or 5-merous or rarely a few florets female; corolla dilated above and longer than the involucre and 5-toothed, or urn-shaped and shorter than the involucre when 4-toothed. Anthers tailed at base. Style branches linear, ± flattened, papillose at apex.
Achenes all similar, narrow-obovoid, ± attached obliquely and often with an oblique apex, papillose; pappus shuttlecock-like, of several lanceolate to spathulate whitish scales, margins entire or ciliate to fimbriate or plumose.
Distribution and occurrence: World: 7 species, endemic Australia. Australia: all States.
Text by G. J. Harden
Taxa not yet included in identification key
| ||Key to the species|| |
|1||Small herbs less than 5 cm high; leaves less than 10 mm long; heads sessile in clusters surrounded by floral leaves; florets whitish, 2–3 mm long||Rutidosis multiflora|
|Herbs more than 10 cm high; lower leaves more than 10 mm long; inflorescences more than 5 cm long, heads usually pedunculate; florets yellow, more than 3 mm long||2|
|2||Inflorescences much-branched; stems and leaves covered with cottony hairs; basal leaves mostly more than 2 mm wide; pappus of 4–6 entire scales||Rutidosis helichrysoides|
|Inflorescences unbranched or sparsely branched; stem and leaves glabrous to hairy but then hairs not cottony; leaves usually less than 2 mm wide; pappus of 7–15 scales, margins of scales ciliate, fimbriate to more or less plumose|
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|3||Stems leafy, slender, mostly more than 15 cm high; margins of pappus scales fimbriate to plumose||Rutidosis leptorrhynchoides|
|Leaves chiefly tufted towards base of stems, scapes usually less than 15 cm high; margins of pappus scales ciliate|
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|4||Stems glabrous; pappus scales c. 10, longer than achenes; north coast species||Rutidosis heterogama|
|Stems more or less finely cottony; pappus scales 10–15, shorter to about as long as achenes; southern tableland species|
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