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Galenia L.
Sp.Pl. 1:359 (1753)

Name Status: Not Current

Scientific Description
H.R. Coleman and Leslie Watson, Thursday 8 September 2016

Common name. Galenias. Family Aizoaceae.

Habit and leaf form. Small shrubs, or herbs; leaves on main stem fall about flowering time. Plants succulent. The herbs annual, or perennial. Leaves cauline. Plants with neither basal nor terminal concentrations of leaves. Young stems cylindrical (stems with vesiculate, peltate hair-like scales). Stem internodes solid (stems woody at base). Xerophytic. Leaves minute to medium-sized; alternate (clustered); fleshy; imbricate to not imbricate; non-sheathing; simple; epulvinate. Leaf blades entire; flat; broadly obovate. Leaves without stipules. Leaf blade margins entire. Vegetative buds not scaly. Leaves without a persistent basal meristem. Leaf anatomy. Hairs present (hairs on stems, leaves and outside of flowers; hairs very dense on young growth; leaves papillose). Urticating hairs absent.

Reproductive type, pollination. Fertile flowers hermaphrodite. Unisexual flowers absent. Plants hermaphrodite. Entomophilous (diurnal).

Inflorescence and flower features. Flowers solitary, or aggregated in ‘inflorescences’; (when aggregated) in cymes, or in heads. The terminal inflorescence unit (when flowers aggregated) cymose. Inflorescences terminal, or axillary (inflorescence terminal, solitary flower axillary); cymes and heads. Flowers sessile; ebracteate (A); ebracteolate; small, or medium-sized; regular; cyclic. Free hypanthium present (incorporating calyx and stamens). Hypogynous disk present, or absent. Perianth sepaline; 3–5. Calyx present; 3–5; 1 -whorled; polysepalous (A), or gamosepalous (K); blunt-lobed (lobes spreading and usually hairy); imbricate; regular; green (largely), or pink (inside); fleshy; persistent. Sepals ovate (or obtuse). Calyx lobes ovate (or obtuse). Corolla absent. Androecial members definite in number. Androecium 8–10. Androecial sequence determinable, or not determinable. Androecial members all equal; free of one another. Androecium exclusively of fertile stamens (? — i.e. no staminodial ‘petals’). Stamens 8–10 (P); all more or less similar in shape; diplostemonous to triplostemonous; stamens in pairs between perianth lobes; filantherous. Anthers versatile; dehiscing via longitudinal slits; introrse; tetrasporangiate. Pollen shed as single grains. Gynoecium 2–5 carpelled. The pistil (1–)2–5 celled. Gynoecium syncarpous; synovarious; superior. Ovary unilocular (rarely), or plurilocular; (1–)2–5 locular; sessile. Gynoecium stylate. Styles 2–5; free. Stigmas 2–5. Placentation when unilocular, apical; axile to apical. Ovules in the single cavity 1; 1 per locule (ovule with long funicle); arillate, or non-arillate; anatropous, or campylotropous.

Fruit and seed features. Fruit non-fleshy; dehiscent; a capsule. Capsules valvular (splitting at summit in 2–5 valves). Seeds non-endospermic. Perisperm present (mealy). Embryo well differentiated. Cotyledons 2. Embryo curved.

Additional comments. Prostrate, semi-prostate or undershrubs.

Etymology. After Claudius Galenus (131-c.200 AD), one of the most celebrated writers on medicine of the ancient world.

Taxonomic Literature

  • Blackall, William E.; Grieve, Brian J. (1988). How to know Western Australian wildflowers : a key to the flora of the extratropical regions of Western Australia. Part I : Dicotyledons (Casuarinaceae to Chenopodiaceae). University of W.A. Press. Perth.
  • Marchant, N. G.; Wheeler, J. R.; Rye, B. L.; Bennett, E. M.; Lander, N. S.; Macfarlane, T. D.; Western Australian Herbarium (1987). Flora of the Perth region. Part one. Western Australian Herbarium. Perth.
  • Australia. Bureau of Flora and Fauna (1984). Flora of Australia. Volume 4, Phytolaccaceae to Chenopodiaceae. Australian Govt. Pub. Service. Canberra.