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Styphelia tubiflora Sm.
Family Ericaceae
Subfamily Epacridoideae
Common name: Red Five-Corner

Styphelia tubiflora Sm. APNI*

Description: Erect to spreading shrub, 0.2–0.9 m high; branchlets pubescent.

Leaves oblong or obovate, 7–24 mm long, 1.5–3.3 mm wide, shortly cuspidate; margins entire; lamina flat to convex, upper surface often scabrous; petiole 0.4–0.6 mm long.

Flowers spreading to drooping, usually red, sometimes cream or pale yellow-green; bracteoles 2.6–4 mm long, glabrous. Sepals 8.4–11.4 mm long, glabrous. Corolla tube 14.6–25 mm long; lobes 11.5–14 mm long. Filaments 8.6–12 mm long; anthers 3–4.2 mm long.

Fruit c. 5 mm long, rounded.

Photo J. Plaza


Flowering: April–August

Distribution and occurrence: Grows in dry sclerophyll forest and heath on sandy soils over sandstone, widespread, from Sydney and the Blue Mtns to Jervis Bay.
NSW subdivisions: CC, SC, CT, ST
AVH map***

Text by J. M. Powell, except for groups with contributors listed
Taxon concept: Flora of NSW 3 (1992)


Life History
Flowers Red or cream or pale yellow-green, April-August.

Fruit/seed Dry capsule with tiny ‘skirt’ around one end, average fresh weight 19 mg (J. Howell pers. comm.), 5 mm long, mature August--December. Most fruits infertile, germination takes more than 2 years; mycorrhizas possibly assist breakdown of seed coat and establishment of seedling (Reed 1989).

Dispersal, establishment and growth Ant adapted for dispersal (Westoby et al. 1990).

Fire response Killed by high and medium intensity fire (at Lane Cove River), localised seedlings reported after fire (P. Kubiak pers. comm.).

Interaction with other organisms Can tolerate Casuarina allelopathy, possibly assisted by mycorrhizal association (Reed 1989).

Habitat Ridges, hillsides.

Altitude 0--1000 m                                      Annual rainfall 1000--1600 mm

Typical local abundance Occasional--frequent.

Vegetation Woodland e.g. with Eucalyptus piperita, E. haemastoma, Corymbia gummifera; heath e.g. with Angophora hispida.

Substrate Low nutrient sandy soils on sandstone, .

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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