Plant of the Month — August 2013
Astroloma inopinatum Hislop
Astroloma inopinatum is a newly described species in the family Ericaceae. It occurs on a decomposed granite breakaway north of the Murchison River, east of Kalbarri National Park, growing in rocky, brown loam. Currently known only from this single, small population on an active pastoral lease and so listed as Priority One under DEC Conservation Codes for Western Australian Flora.
A. inopinatum is one of the largest species in the genus, reaching a height of at least 1.8 m. The epithet is from the Latin inopinatus — unexpected, a reference both to the atypically large growth habit for a member of this genus, and to the collection site, which represents an unusual habitat for members of the Styphelioideae generally in Western Australia.
A. inopinatum was previously known under the phrase-name ‘Astroloma sp. Galena (G. Phelan & A. Chant 9)’. It has recently been described by Michael Hislop, Annette J.G. Wilson and Caroline Puente-Lelièvre in our journal Nuytsia, from which much of this text is transcribed. This paper includes a key to species of Astroloma with pale yellow, cream and/or green flowers, a number of colour plates including holotype images and distribution maps.
Photo: E.A. Brown
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