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Hydrocotyle laxiflora DC.
Family Araliaceae
Common name: Stinking Pennywort

Hydrocotyle laxiflora DC. APNI*

Description: Dioecious perennial herb with creeping white or yellow rhizomes, often >1 m long, rooting at nodes; branches erect or ascending to c. 15 cm high, densely hirsute.

Leaves single, spaced along the rhizome; lamina circular to cordate or reniform, 10–40 mm diam., shallowly 5–11-lobed, margins crenate; lamina slightly discolorous, hirsute; petiole 1–12 cm, densely hirsute; stipules entire, c. 1.5 mm long, papery and yellowish.

Umbels simple, leaf-opposed, globose, 5–8 mm diam., usually 30–50-flowered, with an offensive smell; peduncles 2–5 cm long, densely hirsute. Male flowers on pedicels 5–8 mm long; petals pale green, spreading; stamens long-exserted. Female flowers on pedicels 0.5–6 mm long; petals falling at anthesis and often remaining attached to each other forming a cup; stamens rudimentary.

Fruit 1.5–2 mm long, 1.8–2.5 mm wide, smooth, granular or sometimes with a few hairs; mericarps with an obtuse dorsal rib and prominent longitudinal ribs.

Photo A.E. Orme

Photo A.E. Orme

Flowering: October–April

Distribution and occurrence: Grows in woodland and grassland, rock crevices including exposed granite slabs, on sandy, loamy or skeletal soils, often in moist places, widespread.
NSW subdivisions: NC, CC, SC, NT, CT, ST, NWS, CWS, SWS, SWP
Other Australian states: Qld Vic. Tas. S.A.
AVH map***

Formerly in Apiaceae.

Text by S. M. Hastings & B. M. Wiecek
Taxon concept: Flora of NSW 3 (1992)

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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