White banjine Pimelea ligustrina ssp. ciliata, photographed by David Osborne.

Belongs within: Thymelaeaceae.

Pimelea, the riceflowers, is a genus of herbs, shrubs and small trees found in Australia and New Zealand. At least some species are known to be toxic to livestock and it is possible that all are (Harden 1990).

Characters (from Harden 1990): Herbs, shrubs or small trees, often with very tough bark; leaves mostly opposite or subopposite, usually paler on lower surface; petiole commonly very short. Inflorescence mostly a terminal raceme, sometimes on short lateral branches, spike-like, often condensed into heads or clusters, with or without bracts forming an involucre. Flowers mostly bisexual, sometimes unisexual; pedicel usually short. Hypanthium tubular with 4 usually spreading sepal lobes. Petals absent. Stamens 2, inserted in the hypanthium and mostly exceeding it. Ovary with 2 carpels, but only 1 functional with a solitary ovule; style lateral. Fruit mostly a 1-seeded nut or rarely drupaceous; fruit usually more or less narrow-ovoid, frequently glabrous except for a few hairs at the apex, mostly green or brown at maturity, sometimes red, rarely black.

<==Pimelea Sol. ex Gaertn. 1788 A61
    |--P. alpina H90
    |--P. angustifolia G04
    |--P. arenaria Cunn. 1833 A61 (see below for synonymy)
    |--P. argentea GK00
    |--P. aridula Ckn. 1921 (see below for synonymy) A61
    |--P. axiflora H90
    |    |--P. a. ssp. axiflora H90
    |    |--P. a. ssp. alpina nec P. alpina nec P. prostrata var. alpina Cheeseman 1906 H90
    |    `--P. a. ssp. pubescens H90
    |--P. biflora H90
    |--P. bracteata H90 [incl. P. cracens ssp. glabra GK00, P. ligustrina var. glabra H90]
    |--P. buxifolia Hooker 1864 [incl. P. montana Colenso 1899, P. stylosa Colenso 1888, P. subsimilis Colenso 1896] A61
    |--P. ciliolaris [=P. octophylla ssp. ciliolaris] H90
    |--P. concinna Allan 1961 A61
    |--P. cracens GK00
    |--P. crosby-smithiana Petrie 1912 A61
    |--P. curviflora H90
    |    |--P. c. var. curviflora H90
    |    |--P. c. var. acuta H90
    |    |--P. c. var. divergens H90
    |    |--P. c. var. gracilis H90
    |    |--P. c. var. sericea non P. lyallii var. sericea Cheesem. 1906 H90
    |    `--P. c. var. subglabrata H90
    |--P. elongata H90
    |--P. flava H90
    |    |--P. f. ssp. flava H90
    |    `--P. f. ssp. dichotoma non P. dichotoma Colenso 1890 H90
    |--P. glauca H90
    |--P. gnidia (Forster & Forster) Willd. 1797 (see below for synonymy) A61
    |--P. haastii Kirk 1880 (n. d.) A61
    |--P. humilis H90
    |--P. imbricata GK00
    |    |--P. i. var. imbricata GK00
    |    |--P. i. var. gracillima GK00
    |    |--P. i. var. major GK00
    |    `--P. i. var. piligera GK00
    |--P. lanata GK00
    |--P. latifolia [incl. P. altior var. longifolia non P. longifolia Sol. ex Wiks. 1818] H90
    |    |--P. l. ssp. latifolia H90
    |    |--P. l. ssp. altior H90
    |    |--P. l. ssp. elliptifolia H90
    |    `--P. l. ssp. hirsuta H90
    |--P. lehmanniana GK00
    |--P. ligustrina B00
    |    |--P. l. ssp. ligustrina H90
    |    |--P. l. ssp. ciliata H90
    |    `--P. l. ssp. hypericina H90
    |--P. linifolia C08
    |    |--P. l. ssp. linifolia H90
    |    |--P. l. ssp. caesia H90
    |    |--P. l. ssp. collina H90
    |    `--P. l. ssp. linoides H90
    |--P. longifolia Sol. ex Wiks. 1818 A61 (see below for synonymy)
    |--P. lyallii Hook. f. 1854 A61
    |--P. micrantha [=P. curviflora var. micrantha] H90
    |--P. microcephala KM08
    |--P. neo-anglica H90
    |--P. pauciflora H90
    |--P. penicillaris H90
    |--P. petrophila H90
    |--P. polycephala Colenso 1890 (n. d.) A61
    |--P. poppelwellii Petrie 1917 A61
    |--P. preissii GK00
    |--P. prostrata (Forster & Forster) Willd. 1797 A61 (see below for synonymy)
    |--P. pseudo-lyallii Allan 1961 A61
    |--P. rosea GK00
    |--P. sericeo-villosa Hook. f. 1864 A61
    |--P. sericostachya C16
    |--P. serpyllifolia H90
    |--P. simplex H90
    |    |--P. s. ssp. simplex H90
    |    `--P. s. ssp. continua H90
    |--P. spicata H90
    |--P. stricta B00
    |--P. strigosa H90
    |--P. suaveolens OS04
    |--P. sulphurea OS04
    |--P. suteri Kirk 1894 A61
    |--P. sylvestris GK00
    |--P. tomentosa (Forster & Forster) Druce 1917 A61 (see below for synonymy)
    |--P. traversii Hook. f. 1864 A61
    |--P. treyvaudii H90
    |--P. trichostachya H90
    |--P. umbratica H90
    `--P. venosa H90

Pimelea arenaria Cunn. 1833 A61 [=Gymnococca arenaria Fisch. & Mey. 1845 A61; incl. Passerina villosa C06, Pimelea villosa C06]

Pimelea aridula Ckn. 1921 [incl. P. dasyantha Colenso 1896, P. aridula var. linearis Cheeseman 1925, P. lyallii var. sericea Cheesem. 1906] A61

Pimelea gnidia (Forster & Forster) Willd. 1797 [=Banksia gnidia Forster & Forster 1776, Cookia gnidia Gmel. 1791, Passerina gnidia Forst. f. 1786; incl. Pimelea gnidia var. menziesii Hook. f. 1854, Pi. gnidia var. pulchella Cheeseman 1906] A61

Pimelea longifolia Sol. ex Wiks. 1818 A61 [=Passerina longifolia Thunb. 1792 A61; incl. Pi. angulata Colenso 1886 A61, Pi. congesta C06, Pi. lanceolata Colenso 1890 A61, Pi. longifolia var. lanceolata (Colenso) Cheesem. 1906 A61, Pi. similis Colenso 1890 A61]

Pimelea prostrata (Forster & Forster) Willd. 1797 A61 [=Banksia prostrata Forster & Forster 1776 A61, Cookia prostrata Gmel. 1791 A61, Passerina prostrata Forst. f. 1786 A61; incl. Pimelea prostrata var. alpina Cheeseman 1906 non P. alpina A61, Pi. bicolor Colenso 1890 A61, Pi. prostrata var. erecta Cheeseman 1906 A61, Pi. heterophylla Colenso 1890 A61, Pi. laevigata Gaertn. 1788 A61, Gymnococca microcarpa Fisch. & Mey. 1845 C06, Pi. microphylla Col. 1890 A61, Pi. laevigata var. monticola Petrie 1926 A61, Pi. prostrata f. parvifolia A61, Pi. prostrata var. quadrifaria Hook. 1844 A61, Pi. laevigata var. repens Cheeseman 1906 A61, Pi. prostrata var. repens Hook. f. 1854 A61, Pi. rugulosa Colenso 1889 A61, Pi. urvilleana Rich. 1832 A61, Pi. prostrata var. urvilleana (Rich.) Meissn. in DC. 1857 A61]

Pimelea tomentosa (Forster & Forster) Druce 1917 A61 [=Banksia tomentosa Forster & Forster 1776 A61; incl. Pi. axillaris Banks & Soland. ex Wikstr. 1818 C06, Pi. dichotoma Colenso 1890 A61, Passerina pilosa Linn. f. 1781 A61, Pi. pilosa Willd. 1797 A61, Pi. virgata Vahl 1805 A61]

*Type species of generic name indicated


[A61] Allan, H. H. 1961. Flora of New Zealand vol. 1. Indigenous Tracheophyta: Psilopsida, Lycopsida, Filicopsida, Gymnospermae, Dicotyledones. R. E. Owen, Government Printer: Wellington (New Zealand).

[B00] Braby, M. F. 2000. Butterflies of Australia: their identification, biology and distribution vol. 2. CSIRO Publishing: Collingwood (Victoria).

[C08] Cambage, R. H. 1908. Notes on the native flora of New South Wales. Part VI. Deepwater to Torrington and Emmaville. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 33 (1): 45–65, pls 1–2.

[C16] Cambage, R. H. 1916. Notes on the native flora of tropical Queensland. Journal and Proceedings of the Royal Society of New South Wales 49 (3): 389–447, pls 57–61.

[C06] Cheeseman, T. F. 1906. Manual of the New Zealand Flora. John Mackay, Government Printer: Wellington.

[G04] Gibson, N. 2004. Flora and vegetation of the Eastern Goldfields Ranges: part 7. Middle and South Ironcap, Digger Rock and Hatter Hill. Journal of the Royal Society of Western Australia 87 (2): 49–62.

[GK00] Gibson, N., & G. J. Keighery. 2000. Flora and vegetation of the Byenup-Muir reserve system, south-west Western Australia. CALMScience 3 (3): 323–402.

[H90] Harden, G. J. (ed.) 1990. Flora of New South Wales vol. 1. New South Wales University Press.

[KM08] Keighery, G. J., & W. Muir. 2008. Vegetation and vascular flora of Faure Island, Shark Bay, Western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum Supplement 75: 11–19.

[OS04] Obbens, F. J., & L. W. Sage. 2004. Vegetation and flora of a diverse upland remnant of the Western Australian wheatbelt (Nature Reserve A21064). Journal of the Royal Society of Western Australia 87 (1): 19–28.

Pellow, B. J., M. J. Henwood & R. C. Carolin. 2009. Flora of the Sydney Region: a complete revision, 5th ed. Sydney University Press.

Last updated: 27 July 2021.

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