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Flora of Australia Online

EIDOTHEA

A.W.Douglas, B.P.M.Hyland

Eidothea A.W.Douglas & B.Hyland, Fl. Australia 16: 472 (1995); named after Eidothea, one of the three daughters of Proteus in Greek mythology

Type: Eidothea zoexylocarya A.W.Douglas & B.Hyland

Tree lacking buttresses. Bark ash-grey, flaky with pale, irregular or round lenticels. Shoots with pseudoverticillate leaves and spirally ascending, reduced, bract- or scale-like leaves ('cataphylls'). Leaves entire and simple; juvenile leaves simple with dentate margins. Inflorescence simple, axillary, forming condensed racemes, usually 1 flower perfect, the others male; peduncles with many spirally ascending, obovate bracts. Flowers antero-posteriorly oriented. Tepal aestivation valvate, circinate after anthesis. Stamens with thin, elongate, cylindrical filaments, longer than tepals; anthers elongate, pendulous, with broad connectives, without terminal appendages; pollen grains with 3 pores. Ovary shortly stipitate, with ascending hairs in alternitepalous positions; style elongate, with fused suture; stigma slightly crestiform-lipped. Fruit globose or ovoid, glabrous, pericarp forming 3 layers: a very thin outer layer, a spongy middle layer, and a hard, bony inner layer with inward-facing, longitudinally arranged ribs. Seed large and multicanaliculate. 

In Flora of Australia treated as a monospecific genus endemic in rainforest in north-eastern Qld. Since then another species has been described. 

While Eidothea possesses features which are plesiomorphically similar to those of other proteaceous taxa, the combination of these features is unique within the family (A.W.Douglas & B.P.M.Hyland, in prep.). Thus, the white flowers and free anthers resemble Sphalmium ; the pseudo-whorled leaf arrangement resembles Macadamia ; the single-seeded and single-ovulate condition is similar to taxa in both Macadamiinae and most Proteoideae; and the orthotropous ovule is similar to that in taxa of Conosperminae. The combination of plesiomorphic and autapomorphic features suggests that Eidothea represents a new subfamily, one possibly leading to the line of Proteoideae. Further investigations should help to clarify its higher taxonomic position (A.W.Douglas & B.P.M.Hyland, in prep.).

The only species published in the Flora of Australia treatment

zoexylocarya

Published since the Flora of Australia treatment

hardeniana

 

Data derived from Flora of Australia Volumes 16 (1995), 17A (2000) and 17B (1999), products of ABRS, ©Commonwealth of Australia