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Stenanthera pinifolia facts for kids

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Pine heath
Astroloma pinifolium flower (8709441486).jpg
Stenanthera pinifolia in Heathcote National Park
Scientific classification
Synonyms
  • Astroloma pinifolium (R.Br.) Benth.
  • Styphelia pinifolia (R.Br.) Spreng.

Stenanthera pinifolia, commonly known as pine heath, is a species of shrub that is endemic to south-eastern Australia. It has narrow, linear leaves, yellow or red tubular flowers and a small edible berry.

Description

Stenanthera pinifolia is an erect, decumbent or diffuse shrub that typically grows to a height of 15–100 cm (5.9–39.4 in). The leaves are arranged densely along the branchlets, narrow linear, 9.5–25 mm (0.37–0.98 in) long and 0.3–1 mm (0.012–0.039 in) wide and soft to touch. The flowers are erect, more or less sessile and arranged singly in leaf axils but often appear clustered at the base of branches. There are bracts 0.5–8 mm (0.020–0.315 in) long and bracteoles 7–9 mm (0.28–0.35 in) long at the base of the flowers. The sepals are egg-shaped 9–12 mm (0.35–0.47 in) long. The petal tube is more or less cylindrical, 9–20 mm (0.35–0.79 in) long, mostly yellow, sometimes reddish near the base and the petal lobes are triangular, green and 4–6 mm (0.16–0.24 in) long and densely hairy inside. The anthers project beyond the end of the petal tube and the style is 11–16 mm (0.43–0.63 in) long. The fruit is an oval to globe-shaped, edible berry about 5–15 mm (0.20–0.59 in) long and white when mature. Flowering occurs from spring to summer.

Taxonomy and naming

Stenanthera pinifolia was first formally described in 1810 by Robert Brown in Prodromus Florae Novae Hollandiae et Insulae Van Diemen. The specific epithet (pinifolia) is derived from Latin words meaning "pine" and "-leaved".

Distribution and habitat

Pine heath mainly grows in heath and heathy woodland or forest in sandy or rocky places. It occurs along the coast and nearby tablelands of New South Wales south from Evans Head, mainly in the Grampians but also further east in Victoria, and in Tasmania.

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