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Hibiscus verdcourtii Craven
Family Malvaceae
Common name: Wide Leaf Bladder Ketmia

Hibiscus verdcourtii Craven APNI*

Description: Herb 0.1–1.2(-1.8) m tall. Branchlet with fine stellate hairs, with very sparse coarse bristles, and with fine bristles.

Mid-stem and upper-stem leaves 3-lobed (shallowly or deeply), lobing not extended to the apex of the petiole, the primary lobes themselves scarcely lobed; lamina of mid-stem leaves 2–14 cm long, 1–10 cm wide, in overall shape ovate to broadly ovate or narrowly ovate, with fine stellate hairs and fine bristles, margin strongly serrate, lobe apex rounded or acute; petiole 10–55 mm long with the indumentum dissimilar to that of branchlet (not markedly, petioles with more bristles); foliar nectary absent. Stipules more or less persistent, 3–4 mm long.

Flowers solitary in leaf axils; pedicels 5–30 mm long. Epicalyx 9–10-segmented, 7.5–12 mm long, segments linear to subulate, free at the base, shorter than the calyx. Calyx 1–2 cm long at anthesis (enlarging to ? in fruit), with stellate hairs, prominently lined with ? nerves; lobes triangular, acute or acuminate at the apex. Petals yellow, fading to white in older flowers, generally with basal petal spot present. Petals 20–35 mm long. Style exserted 2–4 mm beyond the apex of the staminal column; style branches 5, 0.6–1 mm long.

Capsule 11–13 mm long. Seeds subreniform, 2.5–2.7 mm long, glabrous, smooth.

Flowering: February–May

Distribution and occurrence: Often in open woodland or forest, in grassland or wasteland and disturbed areas, on clay, black basalt or brown loams, on floodplains, lake beds, drainage or irrigated areas, flat or low relief gilgai plains and margins of cultivated fields.
NSW subdivisions: SWS, NWP, SWP, SFWP
Other Australian states: N.T. W.A. S.A. Qld
AVH map***

This species is apparently extending its range southwards in eastern Australia, presumably facilitated by agricultural activities.Within the H. trionum complex Craven et al. (2011) now recognises H. verdcourtii, previously referred to as Hibiscus trionum var. vesicarius.

Text by Modified from Craven et al. (2011) by S.F. McCune
Taxon concept:

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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