Thursday, May 16, 2013

Botany picture #64: Epacris purpurascens

Epacris purpurascens (Ericaceae), Australian National Botanic Garden, 2013. The epacrids are a southern hemisphere clade of the Ericaceae that was once treated as its own family. However, although there are a few freakishly aberrant genera that look more like monocots than like Ericaceae, the differences between epacrids as a whole and the other Ericaceae are actually very small: the loss of one ring of stamens and, in most but not all cases, parallel leaf venation. This particular species has the fairly typical ericaceous habit: a smallish shrub with small, hard leaves and small, radiate flowers.

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