The Hannafordia Page

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Synonymy of Hannafordia

Hannafordia is a genus of plants belonging to the tribe Lasiopetaleae of subfamily Byttneroideae of the angiosperm family Malvaceae. It is most closely related to the genera Commersonia, Rulingia, Keraudrenia and Seringia, particularly the latter two. It is endemic to Australia where there are three species. Hannafordia shanesii F. Muell. is found in southern Queensland, Hannafordia quadrivalvis F. Muell. in the Carnarvon region of Western Australia, lapping over into adjacent areas to the south and east, and Hannafordia bissillii F. Muell. is widely distributed in the arid regions of Australia. Two subspecific taxa are recognised. Hannafordia bissillii ssp. latifolia (E.Pritz.) C.F.Wilkins is found in the south west of the species' range, straddling the boundary between the arid interior and moister south western regions of Western Australia. Hannafordia quadrivalvis ssp. recurva C. F. Wilkins is found in the north of the species' range.

Hannafordias are shrubs growing to between 1 and 4 feet in height. The leaves are simple or lobed, with cordate bases, and are sometimes faintly serrate. Stipules may be absent, single or paired. The inflorescences are short, few-flowered racemes. The flowers possess an epicalyx, the 3 bracteoles of which are unfused and short. The sepals are somewhat petaloid. They are are fused for about half their length to produce a five-lobed calyx. Each lobe develops 3 ribs after floweriing. There are 5 lanceolate petals, which are shorter than the sepals, though not as reduced as in some other genera of Lasiopetaleae, such as Lasiopetalum, Lysiosepalum and Guichenotia. The stamens and staminodes are fused at their bases. There are 5 antheriferous stamens placed alternately to the sepals, and 5 staminodes, which may be simple or with 3 linear lanceolate portions, alternatiing with the stamens. The anther locules are held parallel, and open by dorsal slits. The ovary is sessile, with 4 or less commonly 3 or 5 locules, each containing a 3 or 4 ovules. The style is simple. The fruit is a globose, loculicidally dehiscent, more or less woody, pubescent, capsule, each locule containiing 2 to 4 seed. The seeds, like most genera of Lasiopetaleae, possess a strophiole, in this case laciniate. They are albuminous, and possess flat cotyledons.

The chromosome count is 20.

Hannafordia bissillii F.Muell. ssp. bissillii is an erect open or sprawling shrub, reaching 1 to 3 feet in height, of sandy soils, bearing yellow or green flowers from late autumn to early spring.

Hannafordia bissillii F.Muell. ssp. latifolia (E.Pritz.) C.F.Wilkins differs in adding cream to the palette of flower colours, and in flowering in two periods, the first in autumn, and the second in late spring and early summer. It grows on granitic and lateritic soils.

Hannafordia bissillii var. bissillii F.Muell. is a synonym of Hannafordia bissillii ssp. bissillii. Synonyms of Hannafordia bissillii ssp. latifolia include Hannafordia bissillii var. latifolia E.Pritz. and Hannafordia kessellii C.A.Gardner.

Hannafordia quadrivalvis F. Muell. is a much branched shrub growing to 3 or 4 feet in height. It has a dense, soft velvety, tomentum, often rust-coloured on young shoots. The leaves are borne on longish petioles. They are 1 to 2½ inches long, thick and soft in texture, obliquely ovate-cordate at the base, and obtuse at the apex, either coarsely sinuate-toothed or broadly lobed. The inflorescences are oppositifoliate. The flowers are borne in the winter months, and are red, yellow or cream in colour. The calyx about ½ in long, divided to below the middle into narrow acuminate lobe. The mature fruit is shorter than the calyx.

Hannafordia quadrivalvis ssp. recurva C.F.Wilkins is found in the northern parts of the Carnarvon distrinct, and grows on calcareous substrates.


  1. Bentham, G. & Hooker, J.D., Genera Plantarum 195-240
  2. Kubitzki & Bayer, Malvaceae, in Kubitzki & Bayer, Fam. Gen. Vasc. Plants V: (2003)
  3. Bentham, G., Flora Australiensis 1: 184-279 (1863)
  4. FloraBase (Western Australian Herbarium)
  5. Hutchinson, J.B., The Genera of Flowering Plants 2: 536-567 (1967)

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Synonymy of Hannafordia