Opercularia varia Hook.f.

Variable Stinkweed

London J. Bot. 6: 466 (1847) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Native

Spreading to semi-erect herb or subshrub to 30 cm high, much-branched near base; branches lax, angular, scabrous to shortly hairy. Leaves sessile, linear to ovate or lanceolate, mostly 3–18 mm long and 1.5–6 mm wide, acute, surfaces sparsely to densely hairy, lateral venation usually not apparent on lower surface; margins flat to slightly recurved (sometimes strongly recurved on drying). Inflorescences upper-axillary and terminal 2–7-flowered hemispherical heads; peduncles mostly 0–7 mm long, recurved, shorter than subtending leaves. Flowers bisexual; calyx-lobes broad-triangular, 0.5–1.5 mm long, ciliate; corolla c. 2 mm long. Capsules dehiscing by an oblique abscission leaving a star-shaped cavity when seeds shed; seeds compressed-ovoid, 1.5–3 mm long, outer surface transversely rugose, inner surface with 2 smooth longitudinal ridges, rugose. Flowers Jun.–Mar.

Brid, CVU, DunT, EGL, EGU, GipP, Glep, Gold, GGr, HFE, HNF, HSF, LoM, MonT, MuM, NIS, OtP, OtR, Strz, VAlp, VRiv, VVP, WaP, WPro, Wim. Also SA, NSW, Tas. Widespread and often locally common throughout much of Victoria, occurring in a wide range of habitats, but commonly in heathland and heathy open-forest.

Occasional specimens may resemble the less common Opercularia ovata, but that species typically has lateral venation very apparent on the lower leaf surface.

Source: Jeanes, J.A. (1999). Rubiaceae. In: Walsh, N.G.; Entwisle, T.J. (eds), Flora of Victoria Vol. 4, Cornaceae to Asteraceae. Inkata Press, Melbourne.
Updated by: Val Stajsic, 2018-02-23
Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Asteranae
order Gentianales
family Rubiaceae
genus Opercularia
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <http://avh.chah.org.au>. Find Opercularia varia in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Opercularia varia in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Lowan Mallee present native
Murray Mallee present native
Wimmera present native
Glenelg Plain present native
Bridgewater present native
Victorian Volcanic Plain present native
Victorian Riverina present native
Gippsland Plain present native
Otway Plain present native
Warrnambool Plain present native
Goldfields present native
Central Victorian Uplands present native
Greater Grampians present native
Dundas Tablelands present native
Northern Inland Slopes present native
East Gippsland Lowlands present native
East Gippsland Uplands present native
Wilsons Promontory present native
Highlands-Southern Fall present native
Highlands-Northern Fall present native
Otway Ranges present native
Strzelecki Ranges present native
Monaro Tablelands present native
Highlands-Far East present native
Victorian Alps present native

State distribution

Distribution map
South Australia
New South Wales