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Habit and leaf form. Slender herbs; with coloured juice, or non-laticiferous and without coloured juice. Annual, or perennial; plants with neither basal nor terminal concentrations of leaves. Young stems terete, angled or winged. Rhizomatous, or tuberous. Helophytic to xerophytic. Leaves opposite (at the base of the stem), or alternate to whorled (above); when alternate, spiral; petiolate to sessile; non-sheathing; gland-dotted; simple. Leaf blades entire; pinnately veined; cross-venulate. Leaves without stipules; without a persistent basal meristem. Leaf anatomy. Hydathodes present. Stem anatomy. Nodes unilacunar. Secondary thickening absent, or developing from a conventional cambial ring, or anomalous.
Reproductive type, pollination. Fertile flowers hermaphrodite. Unisexual flowers absent. Plants hermaphrodite. Entomophilous.
Inflorescence and flower features. Flowers solitary; axillary; pedicellate (usually); bracteate; ebracteolate; small, or medium-sized; regular; (4–)5 merous; cyclic; tetracyclic. Free hypanthium absent. Perianth with distinct calyx and corolla; (8–)10; 2 -whorled; isomerous. Calyx (4–)5; 1 -whorled; gamosepalous; deeply lobed; contorted; regular; persistent (free from the ovary); with the median member posterior. Corolla (4–)5; 1 -whorled; not appendiculate; gamopetalous; lobed. Corolla lobes markedly longer than the tube. Corolla imbricate; very shortly campanulate, or rotate; regular; white, or red, or pink, or blue. Corolla members entire. Androecium 5. Androecial members adnate (to the corolla); free of one another; 1 -whorled. Androecium exclusively of fertile stamens. Stamens 5; isomerous with the perianth; alternisepalous. Filaments hairy (often villous), or glabrous. Anthers dorsifixed; versatile; dehiscing via longitudinal slits; introrse; tetrasporangiate. Gynoecium supposedly 5 carpelled. The pistil 1 celled. Carpels isomerous with the perianth. Gynoecium syncarpous; eu-syncarpous; superior. Ovary unilocular; 1 locular (and no evidence of partitions). Gynoecium stylate. Styles 1; attenuate from the ovary; apical. Stylar canal present. Stigmas 1; 1 - lobed; capitate; dry type; papillate, or non-papillate; Group II type. Placentation free central (placenta globular). Ovules in the single cavity (5–)7–100 (? usually ‘many’); ascending; non-arillate; anatropous, or hemianatropous.
Fruit and seed features. Fruit non-fleshy; dehiscent; a capsule (globular). Capsules circumscissile. Fruit 2–100 seeded (? i.e. to ‘many’). Seeds trigonous; endospermic. Endosperm oily. Seeds with amyloid. Cotyledons 2. Embryo straight. Testa with tubercles. Seedling. Germination phanerocotylar.
Physiology, biochemistry. Aluminium accumulation not found.
Geography, cytology, number of species. Native of Australia. Not endemic to Australia. Australian states and territories: Western Australia, South Australia, Northern Territory, Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Australian Capital Territory, and Tasmania. Northern Botanical Province.
Additional characters Corolla lobes erect, or spreading.