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Prostanthera gilesii Althofer ex B.J.Conn & T.C.Wilson
Family Lamiaceae
Prostanthera gilesii Althofer ex B.J.Conn & T.C.Wilson APNI*

Synonyms: Prostanthera sp. C sensu Conn (1992) APNI*

Description: Small, compact, spreading shrub, up to 1 m high, with the populations formed by a tangle of individual plants. Branchlets ± terete, moderately hairy on distal internodes and nodes with antrosrse hairs, becoming sparsely hairy, glands indistinct.

Leaves dark green, glossy, paler below, aromatic; petiole 1–2 mm long; lamina narrowly ovate to elliptic, 15–26 mm long, 5–10 mm wide, a few hairs ibn midrib, otherwise glabrous, margin entire; apex obtuse; venation indistinct, midrib slightly raised on abaxial surface.

Inflorescence in groups of 3–4, sometimes 6 flowers; calyx green; outer surface glabrous, moderately glandular; inner surface of tube glabrous, lobes densely hairy near margin and apex; corolla 12–15 mm long, white to yellowish white, with purple to dark mauve markings on the inner surface of the tube and base of adaxial median lobe-pair, with pale orange marking on base of abaxial median lobe; hairs crinkled.

Fruiting calyx not or only slightly enlarged (only immature fruits seen). Mature mericarps and seeds not seen.

L. Elkan

Photo T.C. Wilson

Flowering: Flowers November and December.

Distribution and occurrence: Known only from Mount Canobolas State Conservation Area, SW of Orange, New South Wales, Australia. The original collector of P. gilesii regarded this species as rare.

This species grows on basaltic loam and occurs in montane wet sclerophyll forest at an altitude of c. 1000 metres dominated by Eucalyptus dalrympleana, E. dives and E. rubida, with understorey shrubs of Mirbelia oxylobioides, Polyscias sambucifolia, Asterolasia rupestris, Cassinia longifolia, C. arcuata. Soils are recorded as basaltic loams).
NSW subdivisions: CT

Threatened species: NSW BCA: Critically Endangered
AVH map***

The specific epithet ‘gilesii’ was first proposed by Mr George Althofer to acknowledge William (Bill) E. Giles who ‘experimented in growing Australian and exotic plant. Giles discovered this new species in the 1940s, with the first known herbarium collection made by him on the 17th December 1950.

Text by Louisa Murray (January 2016)
Taxon concept: Barry J. Conn and Trevor C. Wilson (2015) Two new species of Prostanthera (Lamiaceae) in New South Wales. Telopea 18 : 463-474.

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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