Cryptandra Sm.


Greek kryptos— hidden, andros — man, referring to the anthers enclosed within the hooded petals.

Small hairy heath-like shrubs, often with spiny branchlets. Leaves alternate, mostly very small, sometimes in clusters, lower surface usually white-hairy; stipules persistent. Flowers small, sometimes arranged in small heads, whitish with persistent brown bracts at the base. Sepals 5. Petals 5, hooded, enclosing the anthers. Disk rarely conspicuous. Ovary inferior to half-inferior, 3-chambered. Fruit capsule with persistent sepals and floral tube, usually separating into 3 nutlets.

Grown for the heath-like habit and dense flower heads. Some species are sometimes treated as members of the genus Stenanthemum but Cryptandra has been retained here pending a revision of generic distinctions in the family.

C. scortechinii F.Muell., from NSWand Qld is occasionally offered; it has whitish hairy flowers in dense terminal heads with bracts at the base of both head and flowers in late winter to spring. 'White Mischief' is a cultivar listed for this species. Syn. Stenanthemum scortechinii (F. Muell.) Bailey]

About 40 species endemic to Australia, in all states except the NT.

Cuttings of young shoots, a few species by seed.

Mostly small heath-like shrubs with hooded petals enclosing the anthers.

Rye (1995).

Source: Spencer, R. (2002). Rhamnaceae. In: Spencer, R.. Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 3. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 2. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.

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kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Magnoliopsida
superorder     Rosanae
order      Rosales
family       Rhamnaceae
Higher taxa
Subordinate taxa
species         Cryptandra amara Sm.