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Ruschia Schwantes

Zeitschrift fur Sukkulentenkunde 2:186 (1926)
Name Status

Scientific Description

Family Aizoaceae.

Habit and leaf form. Small shrubs (erect, branches grey and branchlets red). Plants succulent. Leaves cauline. Plants with neither basal nor terminal concentrations of leaves. Young stems cylindrical to oval in section (branchlets compressed). Stem internodes solid. Xerophytic. Leaves minute to medium-sized; opposite; fleshy; imbricate to not imbricate; shortly petiolate to sessile; connate; simple; epulvinate. Leaf blades entire; solid; solid/angular (3 angled and recurved); triangular. Leaves with stipules, or without stipules. Leaf blade margins entire. Vegetative buds not scaly. Leaves without a persistent basal meristem. Leaf anatomy. Hairs absent. Urticating hairs absent. Extra-floral nectaries absent. Stem anatomy. Secondary thickening anomalous; via concentric cambia.

Reproductive type, pollination. Fertile flowers hermaphrodite. Unisexual flowers absent. Plants hermaphrodite. Entomophilous (diurnal).

Inflorescence and flower features. Flowers aggregated in ‘inflorescences’. The terminal inflorescence unit cymose. Flowers pedicellate; bracteate (leaf-like); ebracteolate; small, or medium-sized; regular; cyclic; polycyclic. Free hypanthium present; incorporating calyx, staminodes and stamens. Perianth sepaline (considered apetalous, but with colourful, conspicuous staminodal ‘petals’); 5. Calyx present; 5; 1 -whorled; gamosepalous; regular; fleshy; persistent. Corolla absent. Androecial members indefinite in number. Androecium 50–200 (i.e. to ‘many’, by branching). Androecial members branched (by dédoublement), or unbranched. Androecial sequence determinable. Androecial members maturing centrifugally; free of one another, or coherent; 3–16 -whorled (i.e to ‘many whorls’). Androecium including staminodes. Staminodes 20–50 (many, outside the stamens); petaloid (purple). Stamens 20–100 (many); polystemonous; filantherous. Anthers dehiscing via longitudinal slits; introrse; tetrasporangiate. Pollen shed as single grains. Fertile gynoecium present, or absent (in male flowers). Gynoecium 5 carpelled. The pistil 5 celled. Carpels isomerous with the perianth. Gynoecium syncarpous; synovarious to synstylovarious; inferior. Ovary plurilocular; 5 locular. Gynoecium stylate. Styles 5. Placentation parietal. Ovules 20–50 per locule (many); anatropous, or campylotropous.

Fruit and seed features. Fruit non-fleshy; dehiscent; a capsule; 5 celled; 20–100 seeded (many). Seeds non-endospermic. Perisperm present (mealy). Embryo well differentiated. Cotyledons 2. Embryo curved.

Etymology. After Ernst Rusch, Sen., a southern African farmer.

J. Gathe and Leslie Watson, 8 September 2016

Taxonomic Literature

  • Australia. Bureau of Flora and Fauna 1984. Flora of Australia. Volume 4, Phytolaccaceae to Chenopodiaceae. Australian Govt. Pub. Service.. Canberra..
  • Blackall, William E.; Grieve, Brian J. 1981. How to know Western Australian wildflowers : a key to the flora of the extratropical regions of Western Australia. Part IIIB, (Epacridaceae-Lamiaceae). University of W.A. Press.. [Perth]..