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Styphelia tubiflora Ku-ring-gai Chase NP.JPG
Styphelia tubiflora
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Ericales
Family: Ericaceae
Subfamily: Styphelioideae
Tribe: Styphelieae
Genus: Styphelia

Styphelia is a genus of shrubs in the family Ericaceae and is endemic to Australia. Most have minute or small leaves with a sharp tip, single, tube-shaped flowers arranged in leaf axils and with the ends of the petals rolled back with hairs in the inside of the tube.


Plants in the genus Styphelia are usually erect or spreading shrubs that have egg-shaped, elliptical or oblong, more or less sessile leaves with many fine, almost parallel veins and a sharp point on the tip. The flowers are usually arranged singly in leaf axils with small bracts grading to larger bracteoles at the base and five, usually coloured sepals. The petals are fused to form a cylindrical tube with their tips rolled back. The inside of the petal tube is hairy and the five stamens and thread-like style extend beyond the end of the tube. The fruit is a drupe with a dry or slightly fleshy mesocarp and a hard endocarp.

Taxonomy and naming

The genus Styphelia was first formally described in 1795 by James Edward Smith in his book A Specimen of the Botany of New Holland. The name Styphelia is from an ancient Greek word meaning "tough" or "harsh", referring to the "stiff, prickly leaves and general habit" of the genus.

Species list

The following is a list of species, subspecies and varieties accepted by the Australian Plant Census as at April 2020:

  • Styphelia adscendens R.Br. - golden heath (N.S.W., S.A., Vic., Tas.)
  • Styphelia angustifolia DC. (N.S.W.)
  • Styphelia exarrhena (F.Muell.) F.Muell. - desert styphelia (S.A., Vic.)
  • Styphelia exserta (F.Muell.) Sleumer (W.A.)
  • Styphelia hainesii F.Muell. (W.A.)
  • Styphelia intertexta A.S.George (W.A.)
  • Styphelia laeta R.Br. (N.S.W.)
    • Styphelia laeta R.Br. subsp. laeta
    • Styphelia laeta subsp. latifolia (R.Br.) J.M.Powell
  • Styphelia longifolia R.Br. (N.S.W.)
  • Styphelia melaleucoides F.Muell. (W.A.)
    • Styphelia melaleucoides R.Br. var. melaleucoides
    • Styphelia melaleucoides subsp. ovata Benth.
  • Styphelia perileuca J.M.Powell - montane green five-corners (N.S.W.)
  • Styphelia psiloclada J.M.Powell (N.S.W.)
  • Styphelia tenuiflora Benth. - common pinheath (W.A.)
  • Styphelia triflora Andrews - pink five-corners (Qld., N.S.W., A.C.T.)
  • Styphelia tubiflora Sm. - red five-corner (N.S.W.)
  • Styphelia viridis Andrews (Qld., N.S.W.)

However, in 2020 a phylogenetic study by Darren Crayn, Michael Hislop and Caroline Peunte-Lelievre argued the need to sink Astroloma and Coelanthera into Styphelia. This was accepted by the Western Australian Herbarium, resulting in the inclusion of all Western Australian species of Austroloma in Styphelia giving the following additional species (list not complete):

  • Styphelia coelophylla (DC.) Hislop, Crayn & Puente-Lel.
  • Styphelia pallida (R.Br.) Spreng.
  • Styphelia pendula (R.Br.) Spreng.
  • Styphelia pentapogona F.Muell.
  • Styphelia planifolia (Sond.) Sleumer
  • Styphelia pogonocalyx (Benth.) F.Muell.
  • Styphelia propinqua (R.Br.) Spreng.
  • Styphelia prostrata (R.Br.) F.Muell.
  • Styphelia psilopus (Stschegl.) Hislop, Crayn & Puente-Lel.
  • Styphelia pubescens (S.Moore) Hislop, Crayn & Puente-Lel.
  • Styphelia pulchella (Stschegl.) Druce
  • Styphelia quartzitica Hislop
  • Styphelia stomarrhena (Sond.) Sleumer
  • Styphelia subulata (F.Muell.) Hislop, Crayn & Puente-Lel.
  • Styphelia sulcata Hislop & Puente-Lel.
  • Styphelia tamminensis (E.Pritz.) Sleumer
  • Styphelia tecta (R.Br.) Spreng.
  • Styphelia tortifolia Hislop, Crayn & Puente-Lel.
  • Styphelia williamsiorum Hislop & Puente-Lel.


Species of Styphelia occur in all Australian mainland states and the Australian Capital Territory.

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