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Hovea cymbiformis I.Thomps.
Family Fabaceae
Subfamily Faboideae
Hovea cymbiformis I.Thomps. APNI*

Description: Shrub up to 0.5 m tall, rarely to 1.5 m tall, multi-stemmed from a stout rootstock. Indumentum of branchlets, petiole, stipules, pedicel, abaxial surfaces of bract and bracteoles and external surface of calyx dense, brown to grey, sometimes orange-brown at apices of branchlets, stipules, calyx, bract and bracteoles, hairs coiled to curled.

Leaves very narrow-elliptic, 1–4 cm long, 3–5 mm wide (juvenile leaves to 4.8 cm long, 6mm wide), strongly concave-folded (cymbiform), base obtuse to acute, margins flat, apex obtuse to acute, mucronate; upper surface green, subglossy to glossy, scattered, coiled hairs over much of the ± smooth surface, veins distinct, sometimes slightly recessed; lower surface mostly green with a sparse to moderately dense, pale indumentum, hairs coiled or occasionally fairly straight, densest along the veins, midrib indumentum moderately dense, orange-brown, glabrescent, venation raised. Stipules ovate, 0 .5–1.2 mm long, apex sometimes reflexed. petiole 1.5–3 mm long

Inflorescences mostly sessile, mostly 2-flowered, inflorescences on short lateral branchlets occasionally subtended by tiny leaves 2–4 mm long. Flowers with bracts inserted at or near base of pedicel, ovate to oblong-ovate, 1–1.2 mm long; bracteoles inserted at base of calyx, narrow-ovate to oblong-ovate, 1–1.2 mm long; calyx 3.5–4.5 mm long, indumentum of straight, appressed hairs as well as curled hairs; tube 2–2.5 mm long; upper lip 2.5–3 mm wide across base, apex of lobes rounded, intervening sinus c. 0.5 mm deep; lower lip 3 mm wide across base, lateral lobes 1.2–1.5 mm long, lower lobe 1.5–1.8 mm long; standard 7 mm long, 8–9 mm wide, claw c. 2 mm long, limb mauve, flare yellow-green, 1 mm wide, bordered by a zone of deep mauve; wing 6–7 mm long, 2.5–3 mm wide, claw c. 1.5 mm long.

Pod obliquely orbicular in profile, c. 10 mm long, 10 mm deep, subsessile, external surface hardly obscured by an indumentum of straightish to curly, weakly appressed hairs, internal surface with scattered hairs. Seeds ellipsoid, c. 4 mm long, 3 mm wide, dark brown or mottled yellow brown, aril oblong, 2.5 mm long, 1.0 mm wide, 30–40% of the curved length of seed.


Flowering: Flowers in August–September. Fruit matures in December.

Distribution and occurrence: Occurs in north-eastern NSW from Wood’s Reef near Barraba south-east to Chaffey Reservoir south-east of Tamworth.

Grows in soils derived from serpentinite in woodland.
NSW subdivisions: NWS
AVH map***

Hovea cymbiformis is characterised by low-stature, multi-stemmed habit, and concavefolded leaves. It has been recorded from three widely separated localities in the Tamworth area. At two of the three localities, populations are large and most plants are less than 0.5 m tall. Between Attunga and Hall’s Creek near Tamworth, among a large population of typical H. cymbiformis, are several plants that are taller, with larger leaves and flowers and with a denser indumentum on the lower surface of leaves. These plants are somewhat intermediate in form between H. cymbiformis and H. lanceolata and possibly are hybrids, although H. lanceolata has not been recorded at this site.

Text by Louisa Murray
Taxon concept: I.R. Thompson (2001) Eastern Australian Hovea (Brongniartieae-Fabaceae). Australian Systematic Botany, Vol 14, pp 63-64.

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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