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Caesia parviflora R.Br.
Family Asphodelaceae
Common name: Pale Grass-lily

Caesia parviflora R.Br. APNI*

Description: Tufted, glabrous herbaceous perennial; rhizome branched; roots clustered, ± fleshy-fibrous or narrow-tuberous.

Leaves to 40 cm long, 1–8 mm wide; sheath ± scarious.

Inflorescence 10–55 cm high; axis slender, few-branched; lower bracts to 20 cm long; flowers in clusters of 2–6, the lowest subtended by short subulate bracts to 1 cm long; upper bracts subulate, down to 1.8 mm long; pedicels slender, 3–10 mm long. Tepals narrow-elliptic, 3–8.5 mm long, greenish white to blue. Stamens to 4.5 mm long; anthers 0.5–2.1 mm long; filaments fusiform.

Capsule strongly 3-lobed, to 5 mm diam.; seeds 1.3–2.3 mm diam., granulate, sparsely tuberculate, dull.

Photo J. & P. Edwards

Photo L. von Richter


Flowering: spring–summer.

Distribution and occurrence: Grows in heath, woodland and dry sclerophyll forest on sandstone-derived soils; west to Carabost area.
NSW subdivisions: NC, CC, SC, NT, CT, NWS, CWS, SWS
Other Australian states: Qld Vic. Tas. S.A. W.A.
AVH map***

Distinction between var. vittata and var. parviflora is unclear. Live material is needed for positive identification. Some herbarium material identified as var. parviflora may represent var. vittata, and their distributions given here may not represent their true geographic ranges.

Text by S. McCune & D. W. Hardin
Taxon concept:

 Key to the varieties 
1Plant usually >20 cm high; primary inflorescence branches ascending; flowers white to blue; tepals to 8.5 mm long.2
Plant usually <20 cm high; primary inflorescence branches widely divergent, often horizontal but ascending apically; flowers mainly white, also blue or purple; tepals <5 mm long. Leaves to c. 2 mm widevar. minor
2Flowers white to pale pink or blue, often with veins outlined in green or purple; filaments greenish white throughout. Leaves to 5 mm widevar. parviflora
Flowers blue with darker veins; filaments blue often with transverse white bands. Leaves to 8 mm wide
                       Back to 1
var. vittata

APNI* Provides a link to the Australian Plant Name Index (hosted by the Australian National Botanic Gardens) for comprehensive bibliographic data
***The AVH map option provides a detailed interactive Australia wide distribution map drawn from collections held by all major Australian herbaria participating in the Australian Virtual Herbarium project.
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