Common name. Lantern Bushes. Family Malvaceae.
Habit and leaf form. Shrubs, or herbs (generally with a stellate indumentum). Plants unarmed. Annual, or perennial; to 0.4–3 m high. Mesophytic. Not heterophyllous. Leaves small to medium-sized; alternate; spiral; petiolate; non-sheathing; simple. Leaf blades dorsiventral; dissected (3–5-lobed), or entire; ovate, or oblong, or elliptic, or orbicular; palmately veined; cordate. Mature leaf blades adaxially pubescent; abaxially pubescent. Leaves with stipules (stipules linear or subulate). Stipules caducous. Leaf blade margins entire, or crenate, or serrate. Leaf anatomy. Hairs present; complex hairs present. Complex hairs stellate. Extra-floral nectaries absent.
Reproductive type, pollination. Fertile flowers hermaphrodite. Unisexual flowers absent. Plants hermaphrodite. Entomophilous.
Inflorescence and flower features. Flowers solitary (often appearing as a leafy panicle or raceme due to decrescence of upper leaves); axillary; pedicellate (pedicels articulate in the upper half); small to medium-sized; regular; 5 merous; tetracyclic. Hypogynous disk absent. Perianth with distinct calyx and corolla; 10; 2 -whorled; isomerous. Calyx present; 5; 1 -whorled; gamosepalous; lobed; lobulate (5-lobed); hairy; valvate; exceeded by the corolla, or more or less equalling the corolla, or exceeding the corolla; more or less campanulate; regular; persistent; accrescent (sometimes enclosing the schizocarp). Calyx lobes ovate. Epicalyx absent. Corolla present; 5; 1 -whorled; polypetalous (tubiform, adnate to the base of the staminal column); glabrous abaxially; glabrous adaxially; white, or yellow (mainly), or orange. Petals obovate. Androecium present. Androecial members indefinite in number. Androecium 50–100 (i.e. ‘many’). Androecial members adnate; all equal; coherent (connate; the filaments fused in a column surrounding the style); 1 - adelphous (the tube attached to the petals); 1 -whorled. Androecium exclusively of fertile stamens (or rather, half-stamens, each having only a half anther). Stamens 50–100. Anthers dehiscing via longitudinal slits; introrse; unilocular. Gynoecium 5–40 carpelled (in a single whorl). The pistil 5–40 celled. Gynoecium syncarpous; synstylovarious to eu-syncarpous; superior. Ovary plurilocular, or unilocular (rarely and due to abortion); 3–9 locular. Gynoecium stylate. Styles 1; more than 4-branched (5–40 branched, filiform to clavate); apical. Stigmas 5–40 (slender or thickened towards the apex); capitate. Placentation axile. Ovules 3–9 per locule.
Fruit and seed features. Fruit non-fleshy; hairy; a schizocarp (globular to cylindrical; separating septicidally into 2-valved dehiscent mericarps leaving a persistent central axis). Mericarps 5–40. Dispersal unit the mericarp (chartaceous, laterally compressed, reniform in outline with the outer edge obtuse, acute or awned). Fruit 3–27 seeded. Seeds 1 per mericarp to 2 or more per mericarp (i.e. 1–9). Seeds conspicuously hairy, or not conspicuously hairy.
Geography, cytology, number of species. World distribution: pantropical. Native of Australia. Not endemic to Australia. Australian states and territories: Western Australia, South Australia, Northern Territory, Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, and Australian Capital Territory. Northern Botanical Province. A genus of c. 100–150 species; 27 species in Western Australia.
Etymology. Name used by Avicenna (see Avicennia) for a plant of this or some allied genus of the mallow family.
FloraBase is produced by the staff of the Western Australian Herbarium, Biodiversity and Conservation Science, Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions. Publication or other use of content on this site is unauthorised unless that use conforms with the copyright statement.
Western Australian Herbarium (1998–). FloraBase—the Western Australian Flora. Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions. https://florabase.dpaw.wa.gov.au/