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Dracophyllum oceanicum E.A.Br. & N.Streiber
Family Ericaceae
Subfamily Epacridoideae
Dracophyllum oceanicum E.A.Br. & N.Streiber APNI*

Synonyms: Dracophyllum sp. 'Jervis Bay' (Brown 97/80) APNI*

Description: Shrub 0.4–2(-2.5) m tall, glabrous, varying from low ± prostrate to robust and erect to spreading (in more sheltered positions), stem often branching extensively near base.

Leaves usually not persisting more than 40 cm below apex, erect to spreading and becoming recurved, sheathing at base; sheath greenish-brown to brown or pale buff, 12–17 mm long, 14–21 mm wide, usually gradually narrowed into lamina, occasionally ovate or with slight shoulder; lamina coriaceous, usually bronzed green, paler abaxially, linear-triangular, (90-)150–200(-230) mm long, (9-)10–15(-18) mm wide, flat to slightly concave; tip blunt and frequently broken off.

Inflorescence terminal, flowers maturing acropetally; each node with a caducous leaf-like bract, with (10-)20–30(-35) flowers per basal node, reducing to 1 or occasionally 2 flowers per node distally (heavily shaded branches with as few as 4 flowers per basal node); flowers erect to spreading (rarely deflexed as a result of crowding). Bracts coriaceous, brown (sometimes whitish at the base, pink throughout or with a rose-coloured tip, becoming brown with age), triangular, c. 65 mm long and 15 mm wide at base of inflorescence to c. 10 mm long and 1.5 mm wide distally, sheath concave and well-developed, margin ciliolate towards base or smooth, tip obtuse. Bracteoles scarious, golden brown, linear triangular, 6–8 mm long, 0.2–0.6 mm wide, margin ciliolate distally, tip acute. Calyx greenish white to white, often with apex tinged pink, frequently brown with paler more membranous margin in infructescence; lobes triangular, 5–7 mm long, 1.5–2 mm wide, 0.6–1 as long as corolla; margin with scattered minute teeth, ciliolate distally, apex acute. Corolla off-white, lobes becoming brown with age; tube cylindrical-urceolate, 4–7 mm long, 2.5–3 mm diam.; lobes spreading to reflexed, ovate, 1.5–2.5 mm long, (1-)1.5–2 mm wide, base subcordate to truncate, apex obtuse, papillate distally (outer surface less so) and densely rugose. Stamens with filaments inserted on the receptacle, 3.5–4.5 mm long, often adhering slightly to corolla tube but not fused to it; anthers included. Pistil ± as long as corolla tube; ovary ± cylindrical to obovate, 1.5–3 mm long, 1–2 mm diam.; style cylindrical, stout, 2–3 mm long; stigma indistinctly 5-lobed.

Fruit brown, shorter than calyx; style persistent; seeds not observed.

Photo A. J. Perkins


Flowering: August–December (April).

Distribution and occurrence: Probably restricted to the coastal cliffs and small bays of the north and south heads of Jervis Bay.

On coastal cliffs overlooking ocean, or at the base of cliffs and on stream margins in sheltered bays, rarely more than 50 metres from the sea. The substrate is sandstone of the Conjola Formation, part of the Permian Shoalhaven group.
NSW subdivisions: SC
AVH map***

Text by E.A. Brown
Taxon concept: Brown & Streiber 1999

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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