Zaleya Burm.f.

Fl.Indica p110, t. 31, fig. 3. (1768)
Name Status

Scientific Description

Family Aizoaceae.

Habit and leaf form. Prostrate or semi-erect herbs. Plants somewhat succulent. Leaves cauline. Plants with neither basal nor terminal concentrations of leaves. Young stems cylindrical. Stem internodes solid (stems sometimes woody at base, nodes distant). Xerophytic. Leaves minute to medium-sized; opposite (the members of a pair unequal); fleshy; imbricate to not imbricate; petiolate (the petioles long, scarious basally); connate, or not connate; simple; epulvinate. Leaf blades entire; flat; elliptic (to narrowly elliptic), or oblong, or ovate; with the midrib distinct below. Leaves without stipules. Leaf blade margins entire. Vegetative buds not scaly. Leaves without a persistent basal meristem. Leaf anatomy. Hairs absent (minutely papillose especially on young growth). Urticating hairs absent. Extra-floral nectaries absent.

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

Inflorescence and flower features. Flowers aggregated in ‘inflorescences’; in fascicles (or clusters of about 20 flowers). The terminal inflorescence unit cymose. Inflorescences axillary. Flowers pedicellate, or sessile, or subsessile; bracteate (1 small scarious bract per flower; bract triangular, acuminate or occasionally toothed); bracteolate (2 bracteoles per flower, acute); small, or medium-sized; regular; cyclic; tricyclic to polycyclic. Free hypanthium present; incorporating calyx and stamens. Hypogynous disk present, or absent. Perianth sepaline (considered apetalous, though the perianth is coloured inside); 5; 1 -whorled. Calyx present; 1 -whorled; gamosepalous; green and white, or green and pink, or green and purple (coloured inside); fleshy; persistent. Calyx lobes rhombic. Corolla absent. Androecial members definite in number, or indefinite in number. Androecium 5–17. Androecial members branched, or unbranched. Androecial sequence determinable, or not determinable. Androecial members when many, maturing centrifugally; free of the perianth (at base of floral lobes); markedly unequal; free of one another. Androecium exclusively of fertile stamens (i.e. no staminodal ‘petals’). Stamens 5–12(–17); all more or less similar in shape; isomerous with the perianth to triplostemonous; filantherous. Anthers dehiscing via longitudinal slits; introrse; tetrasporangiate. Pollen shed as single grains. Gynoecium 2 carpelled. The pistil 2 celled. Gynoecium syncarpous; synovarious to synstylovarious; superior. Ovary plurilocular; 2 locular; sessile. Gynoecium stylate. Styles 2; apical. Stigmas 2. Placentation basal. Ovules 2 per locule; arillate, or non-arillate; anatropous, or campylotropous.

Fruit and seed features. Fruit non-fleshy; dehiscent; a capsule. Capsules circumscissile (circumcision near base, upper part (operculum) splits in 2). Fruit 2 celled; 4 seeded. Seeds non-endospermic. Perisperm present (mealy). Embryo well differentiated. Cotyledons 2. Embryo curved.

Additional comments. Operculum divided into 2 bell-shaped valves, the lateral edges with a raised ridge of 3–4 teeth; operculum valves campanulate,woody and with a raised ridge of irregular teeth.

Etymology. Derivation unknown, not explained in the original description.

J. Gathe, 8 September 2016

Taxonomic Literature

  • Wheeler, J. R.; Rye, B. L.; Koch, B. L.; Wilson, A. J. G.; Western Australian Herbarium (1992). Flora of the Kimberley region. Western Australian Herbarium. Como, W.A.
  • 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].
  • Jacobs, S. W. L. (1988). Notes on Aizoaceae and Chenopodiaceae.
  • Australia. Bureau of Flora and Fauna (1984). Flora of Australia. Volume 4, Phytolaccaceae to Chenopodiaceae. Australian Govt. Pub. Service. Canberra.