Habit and leaf form. Herbs. Plants spiny (leaves and bracts of N. squarrosa spiny). Annual; plants with neither basal nor terminal concentrations of leaves. Leaves alternate; spiral; sessile; malodorous; compound; pinnate to bipinnate. Leaf blades cross-venulate. Leaves without stipules. Leaf anatomy. Hairs present; glandular hairs present. Stem anatomy. Nodes unilacunar. Secondary thickening developing from a conventional cambial ring.
Reproductive type, pollination. Fertile flowers hermaphrodite. Unisexual flowers absent. Plants hermaphrodite.
Inflorescence and flower features. Flowers aggregated in ‘inflorescences’; in cymes, or in heads. The terminal inflorescence unit cymose. Inflorescences dense; with involucral bracts, or without involucral bracts; pseudanthial, or not pseudanthial. Flowers sessile; bracteate; bracteolate, or ebracteolate; regular to somewhat irregular; when irregular, slightly zygomorphic. The floral asymmetry involving the perianth (K only). Flowers 5 merous; cyclic; tetracyclic. Free hypanthium absent. Hypogynous disk present; intrastaminal; of separate members, or annular. Perianth with distinct calyx and corolla; 10; 2 -whorled; isomerous. Calyx 5; 1 -whorled; gamosepalous; five lobed; erect; imbricate, or valvate; regular to unequal but not bilabiate (when lobes unequal); persistent. Corolla 5; 1 -whorled; gamopetalous; contorted; with a slender funnel-shaped tube and short rounded lobes; regular; pale blue, or purple to blue (N. squarrosa). Androecium 5. Androecial members adnate (epipetalous); free of one another; 1 -whorled. Androecium exclusively of fertile stamens. Stamens 5. Staminal insertion midway down the corolla tube. Stamens remaining included; isomerous with the perianth; oppositisepalous; all alternating with the corolla members. Anthers dehiscing via longitudinal slits; tetrasporangiate. Gynoecium 3 carpelled. The pistil 3 celled. Carpels reduced in number relative to the perianth. Gynoecium syncarpous; synstylovarious; superior. Ovary plurilocular; 3 locular. Gynoecium median. Ovary sessile. Gynoecium stylate. Styles 1 (filiform). Stigmas 1; 3 - lobed. Placentation axile. Ovules 10–50 per locule (i.e. ‘numerous’); sessile; apotropous; anatropous.
Fruit and seed features. Fruit non-fleshy; dehiscent; a capsule. Capsules loculicidal. Fruit 10–50 seeded (i.e. ‘numerous’). Seeds endospermic. Endosperm oily. Cotyledons 2. Embryo curved (slightly), or straight. Seedling. Germination phanerocotylar.
Geography, cytology, number of species. Adventive. Australian states and territories: Western Australia, South Australia, New South Wales, Victoria, and Tasmania.
Additional characters Corolla lobes spreading.
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Western Australian Herbarium (1998–). FloraBase—the Western Australian Flora. Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions. https://florabase.dpaw.wa.gov.au/