After Dr Johann Philipp Rueling, a German botanist b. 1741.
Erect or prostrate shrubs. Leaves entire, variously toothed or lobed. Flowers bisexual. Sepals and petals 5, the petals generally shorter than the calyx, white or pink. Fertile stamens 5, fused to 5 sterile stamens. Capsule hairy with short bristles.
Commersonia J.R. & G. Forst., a closely related genus, is distinguished by having sterile stamens divided into 3 parts; the two most frequently grown species are C. bartramia (L.) Merr., Brown Kurrajong from Qld and NSW, which has a yellow or green lower leaf surface and hairy sterile stamens, and the Western Australian C. pulchella Turcz. which is a small shrub with irregularly wavy-edged leaves 1.5-2.5 cm long.
Petals more or less as long as the sepals. Similar to Commersonia but with entire (not 3-lobed) sterile stamens.
About 25 species from Australia and Madagascar (Australia has 20 native species).
Source: (1997). Sterculiaceae. In: . Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 2. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 1. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.