Mainly low shrubs. Leaves often discolorous, lower surface with usually branching subparallel-palmate veins. Flowers bisexual, axillary, solitary or 2–3 in a much reduced spike, on hardened current or previous season's wood; bracts several, grading in size to 2 bracteoles immediately subtending sepals; uppermost bract usually with a rudimentary bud at apex; corolla 5-partite, ± cylindric; tube with subbasal tufts or a ring of hairs internally, or with ridge-like outgrowths, rarely glabrous; lobes triangular to ovate, valvate in bud, erect or with recurved tips, usually bearded inside; anthers oblong to linear, ± exserted from corolla tube but obscured by corolla lobes; filaments distinctly flattened, rarely slender, adnate to corolla tube; nectary annular, ± toothed; ovary glabrous, 5-locular with 1 ovule per locule, style glabrous, filiform, equal to or longer than the corolla tube, stigma capitate to globose. Fruit a drupe, with a dry or pulpy mesocarp and a hard endocarp.
Endemic Australian genus of c. 28 species (including several undescribed), occurring in all States except Northern Territory and Queensland.
Astroloma as currently accepted is a mixture of diverse elements. Recent studies have shown that A. conostephioides and A. pinifolium are genetically distinct from other species of Astroloma, and belong in Stenanthera, while the remaining species may be better placed in a broadly circumscribed Styphelia (Puente-Lelièvre et al. 2015).
Puente-Lelièvre, C.; Hislop, M.; Harrington, M.; Brown, E.A.; Kuzmina, M. & Crayn, D.M. (2015). A five-marker molecular phylogeny of the Styphelieae (Epacridoideae, Ericaceae) supports a broad concept of Styphelia, Australian Systematic Botany 28: 368–387.