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Hibiscus richardsonii Sweet ex Lindl.
Family Malvaceae
Hibiscus richardsonii Sweet ex Lindl. APNI*

Description: Herb up to 1 m high. Branchlets with stellate hairs and bristles, becoming glabrescent with age.

Mid-stem and upper-stem leaves palmately 3-lobed (rarely unlobed, or 5-or 7-lobed), lobing not extended to the petiole apex, the primary lobes themselves scarcely lobed; lamina of mid-stem leaves 20–70 mm long, 10–50 mm wide, in overall shape ovate, or broadly ovate, with fine and coarse stellate hairs, margin strongly serrate, lobe apex acute or obtuse; petiole 10–30 mm long with indumentum similar to that of the branchlet; foliar nectary absent. Stipules more or less persistent, 4–5 mm long.

Flowers solitary in leaf axils, pedicels 10–30 mm long. Epicalyx 10–14-segmented, 10–14 mm long, segments linear, free at the base, shorter than the calyx to equally as long as the calyx. Calyx 13–15 mm long at anthesis (enlarging to ? in fruit), with stellate hairs, bristles and sparse glandular hairs, lined by c. 20 longitudinal nerves; lobes triangular, acute at the apex; calyx nectary absent. Petals 19–26 mm long, white, cream to yellow distally faintly flushed pink, base sometimes with red striations. Style (including style branches) exserted 2–4 mm beyond the apex of the staminal column; style branches 5, 2–3 mm long.

Capsule 10–12mm long. Seed 1.5–2.2 mm long, subreniform, papillate-pubescent and smooth between the hair pustules.

Flowering: January–May and November-December

Distribution and occurrence: Coastal and subcoastal country from the Clarence River district southwards to the Bermagui district, NSW and NZ.

Recorded mainly in open sclerophyll forest of Corymbia maculata, Eucalyptus tereticornis, Banksia integrifolia or Melaleuca quinquenervia, or open woodland of Eucalyptus and Acacia; on sandy loam on sandstone or alluvials; on slopes, in cleared or disturbed areas, or fringing saline mud-flats.
NSW subdivisions: NC, CC, SC
AVH map***

Within the Hibiscus trionum complex Craven et al. (2011) recognises H. richardsonii. Hibicus richardsonii is closely related to H. tridactylites and H. verdcourtii. It differs from H. tridactylites in having mid-stem and distal leaves not lobed to the apex of the petiole, and from H. verdcourtii in having finely papillate seeds, rather than smooth seeds.

Text by S.F. McCune
Taxon concept: Craven, L.A. et al. (2011) New Zealand Journal of Botany 49(1): 27-40.

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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