Epacris longiflora, commonly known as the fuchsia heath. It belongs to Family Ericaceae. The native range of fuchsia heath is from the central coast of New South Wales to southern Queensland. The long tubular flowers give it the name longiflora.

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An inflorescence of Epacris longiflora flowers

Fuchsia heath is a spreading to erect shrub of around 1 to 2 m in height. Leaves are ovate, 6 to 18 mm long, 3 to 6 mm wide, apex acuminate, base obtuse or cordate, margins minutely toothed.

(ovate: with an egg-shaped outline and broad leaf base; acuminate: with the apex or base gradually tapering to a sharp, long tip and with concave sides along the tip; obtuse: round; cordate: heart-shaped with a wide, notched base and a narrow apex)

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Leaves of ovate shape

According to literature, the flower is formed by five petals fused to form the tubelike corolla, with the petal ends free to form five corolla lobes at the apex. The lower part of corolla tube is pink in colour and the tip of the petal is white. There are five whorled sepals at the base of the corolla. Within the corolla is a central style with the stigma at the apex and ovary at the base.

The specimen which I observed was cultivated at North Head reserve in Sydney, the flower has 6 petals forming the corolla tube. It has 6 stamens hidden inside the corolla tube and a 5-locular ovary.

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The flowers show 6 petals fused to form a corolla tube and 6 stamens with a style in the middle
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A half flower of a flower showing the long style in the long corolla tube
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The stamens attached onto the petals with  short filaments
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The ovary was cut longitudinally open to show the ovules inside. ( Some of the ovules have been dislodged.)
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The ovary was cut transversely open to show the 5 carpels with ovules inside. (Some of the ovules have been dislodged.)

Fruits are capsules of 3–4 mm in length with minute seeds.

 

Botanical drawings

epacris-longiflora
Artist: Edward Minchen (1862-1913), from: ‘The Flowering Plants and Ferns of New South Wales – Part 4’ (1896) by J H Maiden NSW Government Printing Office https://www.anbg.gov.au/gallery/epacris-longiflora.html

 

From Morley, B.D. & Toelken, H.R. (1983) Flowering Plants in Australia , Rigby
From B.D. & Toelken, H.R. (1983) Flowering Plants in Australia, Rigby.( Epacris longiflora, a: flowering branch; b, corolla mouth; c. half flower; d, developing fruit; e, mature fruit)

 

A Request

I have gaps in my knowledge of Epacris longiflora. I welcome comments and advice. Many thanks.

patrick.i.siu@gmail.com

 

Bibliography

http://www.friendsoflanecovenationalpark.org.au/Flowering/Flowers/Epacris_longiflora.htm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epacris_longiflora

https://www.anbg.gov.au/gallery/epacris-longiflora.html

B.D. & Toelken, H.R. (1983) Flowering Plants in Australia , Rigby

 

 

 

 

 

 

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