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Isotoma axillaris Lindl.
Family Campanulaceae
Common name: rock isotome

Isotoma axillaris Lindl. APNI*

Description: Erect or ascending perennial herb to 50 cm high; stems often purplish, shortly pubescent.

Leaves ovate or obovate in outline, 1.5–15 cm long, 0.5–5 mm wide, lamina pinnatifid to ± pinnatisect with the undivided part of lamina 1–10 mm wide, mostly 3–5 mm wide; lobes ± linear, acute, margins often toothed.

Flowers solitary in axils of leaves; peduncles 3–17 cm long. Calyx lobes 3–8 mm long. Corolla bright blue to mauve, rarely pink or white, throat sometimes yellow, white or greenish; tube 15–35 mm long; lobes 8–18 mm long, oblong-elliptic. Lower anthers with 1 large bristle at apex and a few short hairs. Ovary inferior, obconical, 3–7 mm long.

Capsule hemispherical or obconical, ± oblique at base, 7–18 mm long.


Flowering: September–May.

Distribution and occurrence: Grows in crevices on rocky cliffs, especially granite and sandstone outcrops, in shallow sandy soils of slopes and around rock waterholes.
NSW subdivisions: NC, CC, SC, NT, CT, ST, NWS, CWS, SWS, NWP, SWP, NFWP, SFWP
Other Australian states: Qld Vic.
AVH map***

Becoming increasingly popular in cultivation for its striking flowers. Known to be a severe irritant to skin, eyes and possible respiratory tract, caution around handling foliage or sap of this species is recommended.

Text by B. Wiecek [edit A. Orme Sep 2021.]
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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