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Miguel F de Salas 2

Annual or perennial herbs. Leaves opposite, simple. Flowers bisexual. Calyx tubular, lobed or toothed, persistent. Corolla tubular, zygomorphic, 2-lipped, with an upper lip of 2 lobes and a lower lip of 3 lobes. Stamens epipetalous, 4 or rarely 2. Anthers 1–2-locular, opening by longitudinal slits. Carpels 2; ovary superior, 2- (rarely 1-)locular; style terminal; stigma 2-lobed. Fruit an achene or loculicidal capsule included in the calyx, rarely a berry (not in Tasmania). Seeds ∞, small, surface reticulate.

A family of 13 genera and over 200 species, with an almost worldwide distribution and two centres of diversity in western North America and Australia. Seven genera and approximately 37 species in Australia, 4 genera and 4 species (3 native, 1 naturalised) in Tasmania (Barker et al. 2012). Several species of Diplacus and Erythranthe are grown as ornamentals (Spencer 2002). Phrymaceae have long been treated within a broad concept of the Scrophulariaceae (Curtis 1967), and forms part of a clade that includes Pawloniaceae, Orobanchaceae and Lamiaceae (Barker et al. 2012). More recent versions of the APG system split Mazus into its own family (Mazaceae—Stephens 2019).

Key references: Barker et al. (2012).

External resources: accepted names with synonymy & distribution in Australia (APC); author & publication abbreviations (IPNI); mapping (ALA, AVH, NVA); nomenclature (APC, APNI, IPNI).

1. Leaves radical or in basal rosettes, connected thorugh underground rhizomes; bracteoles present 2 Mazus
1: Leaves opposite along creeping or decumbent stems; bracteoles absent 2
2. Leaves distinctly toothed; calyx glandular-hairy; corolla yellow 4 Erythranthe
2: Leaves entire or teeth indistinct; calyx glabrous, or with eglandular hairs; corolla mauve to purple or ± white 3
3. Corolla < 4 mm long, white; stigma 1-lobed 1 Glossostigma
3: Corolla > 10 mm long, mauve to purple; stigma 2-lobed 3 Thyridia


Glossostigma Wight & Arn., Nova Acta Phys.-Med. Acad. Caes. Leop.-Carol. Nat. Cur. 18(1): 355 (1836).

Synonymy: Tricholoma Benth., Prodr. [A. P. de Candolle] 10: 426 (1846).

Annual or perennial, slender mat-forming herbs. Stems prostrate and rooting at the nodes. Leaves opposite, sometimes clustered through reduction of the internodes, lamina entire. Flowers solitary, axillary, pedicellate, bracteoles absent. Calyx tubular, campanulate 3–4-lobed. Corolla lobes subequal. Stamens 4 or 2, normally included within the corolla tube; anthers single-celled with lobes diverging at the base and confluent at the apex. Ovary 2-locular; style short; stigma a broad spathulate lamina longer than the style. Fruit a capsule, globular or ovoid, opening by 2 valves.

A genus of 6 species, all native in Australia, of which 3 are endemic to the continent. Also present in New Zealand, India and east Africa. One single species, G. elatinoides, occurs in Tasmania.

1 Glossostigma elatinoides (Benth.) Benth. ex Hook.f., Bot. Antarct. Voy. II (Fl. Nov.-Zel.) 1: 189 (1853)

Small mudmat

Thumbnail map of TasmaniaHamburger menu graphic to signify link to record data

Tricholoma elatinoides Benth., Prodr. [A. P. de Candolle] 10: 426 (1846); Glossogyne elatinoides F.Muell., Pap. Proc. Roy. Soc. Tasmania 1874: 87 (1875) orth. var.

Illustrations: Barker, Fl. S. Austral. [J.M. Black] 3, ed. 4: 1279, fig. 581c (1986); Barker, Fl. New South Wales 3: 562, pl. 28 (1992); Barker, Fl. Victoria 4: 495, fig. 96f (1999); Wapstra et al., Tasmanian Plant Names Unravelled 274 (2010).

Aquatic or terrestrial, densely mat-forming perennial herb, glabrous or rarely sparsely hairy. Stems slender, much branched, prostrate, rooting at the nodes, ascending at the tips. Leaves opposite, 6–20(–35) mm long, 1.5–2.5(–4.0) mm wide; petiole 2–30 mm long; lamina linear-spathulate or oblong, 1-nerved, rarely obscurely 3-nerved, base narrowed gradually or abruptly into the petiole, margin entire, apex rounded, slightly truncated by an apical gland. Flowers solitary, axillary; pedicel erect, (1–)2–6(–12) mm long, shorter than to as long as the leaves. Calyx glabrous, sometimes sparseley hairy with eglandular hairs, 2–3 mm long, 4-lobed; lobes unequal, 2 long and 2 shorter ones, apex rounded. Corolla white, sometimes stained pink or blue; tube almost as long as the calyx; lobes 1.0–1.5 mm long, with margins ciliolate. Stamens 4, shorter than corolla. Stigma 1-lobed, bearded. Fruit ovoid-globular, shorter than calyx. Flowering Dec.–Apr.

Tas. (TCH, TSE, TNM); also Vic., NSW, SA; New Zealand. Restricted to riparian or lakeside habitats on permanently wet ground, often growing in mud or submerged. From sea level to approximately 1000 m a.s.l. Rare and only known from a few localities on the East Coast, Midlands and Central Highlands. Often grown as an aquarium plant. Can be confused with Limosella australis, but distinguished from this species by the evidently zygomorphic corolla and lobed stigma.


Mazus Lour., Fl. Cochinch. 2: 385 (1790).

Perennial or annual (not in Tasmania) rhizomatous herbs. Stems short, erect. Lower leaves opposite, often forming a basal rosette, upper ones alternate. Flowers solitary or in terminal, one-sided racemes; bracts and bracteoles small, sometimes absent. Calyx campanulate, 5-lobed. Corolla with a short tube; upper lip emarginate, erect, lower lip larger, throat with two ± prominent protruberances. Stamens 4, in pairs of unequal length, anthers 2-celled, those of each pair joined, lobes diverging widely. Style slender; stigmas 2, flattened. Fruit a capsule.

A genus of approximately 30 species in Australia (1 species), New Guinea, New Zealand and south-east Asia, with a centre of diversity in China (Stevens 2001).

1 Mazus pumilio R.Br., Prodr. Fl. Nov. Holland. 439 (1810)

Swamp mazus

Thumbnail map of TasmaniaHamburger menu graphic to signify link to record data

Illustrations: Barker, Fl. S. Austral. [J.M. Black] 3, ed. 4: 1285, fig. 584 (1986); Barker, Fl. New South Wales 3: 559, (1992); Barker, Fl. Victoria 4: 489, fig. 95h (1999); Wapstra et al, Tasmanian plant names unravelled 276 (2010); Howells (Ed.), Tasmania’s Natural Flora 350 (2012).

Perennial rhizomatous herb, glabrous or with a sparse cover of eglandular hairs. Stems very short, erect. Leaves radical, spreading into a rosette or erect, (1.5–)2.0–5.0(–7.5) cm long, (3–)5–10(–14) mm wide; petiole 2–12 mm long, 1.0–1.5 mm wide, widening and almost sheathing at the base; lamina discolorous, oblanceolate or obovate to spathulate, surface flat or sinuate, margin entire or shallowly toothed or sinuate, apex blunt. Inflorescence of 1–4(–6) flowers; peduncle slender, erect, (0.5–)1.5–4.0(–8.5) cm long; bracts absent or caducous, bracteoles to 4 mm long. Calyx 4–5 mm long, tubular, lobes persistent, narrowly triangular, almost as long as the tube, enlarged in the fruiting stage. Corolla pale purple; tube 5–8 mm long; lobes in 2 lips, upper lip with erect lobes, lower lip with spreading lobes, throat hairy. Fruit 5–7 mm long, shorter than or occasionally slightly exserted from the persistent calyx. Flowering (Oct.–)Nov.–Feb.(–Apr).

Tas. (BEL, KIN, FUR, TNS, TNM, TSE, TCH, TSR, TWE); also Vic, NSW, SA, Qld; New Zealand. Widespread and moderately common in swampy and poorly drained wet ground, often in grassland, heathland or marsupial lawn. More common at low elevation, but records exist up to 1000 m a.s.l. Sometimes confused with Thyridia repens, but Mazus pumilio has basal leaf rosettes connected through underground rhizomes, and relatively long leaves, whereas Thyridia repens has opposite pairs of small, rounded leaves along creeping stems, as well as substantially larger flowers.


Thyridia W.R.Barker & Beardsley, Phytoneuron 39: 20 (2012)

Annual or perennial, often semi-aquatic glabrous herbs. Stems prostrate, mat-forming, rooting at the nodes, or if submerged, then erect and up to 20 cm tall, or with erect branches arising from prostrate stems. Leaves semi-succulent, 1-nerved, sessile or subsessile; lamina glandular-punctate, margins entire. Flowers single, axillary, subsessile to pedicellate, bracteoles absent. Calyx glabrous, tubular, lobed. Corolla tube funnel-shaped; throat constricted by a palate on the lower lip. Stamens 4, in pairs, those of each pair joined; anthers 2-locular, loculi divergent. Ovary 2-locular; stigmas 2, flattened, irritable, closing if disturbed. Fruit a loculicidal, thick-walled capsule.

A monotypic genus present in Australia and New Zealand.

1 Thyridia repens (R.Br.) W.R.Barker & Beardsley, Phytoneuron 39: 20 (2012)

Creeping monkeyflower

Thumbnail map of TasmaniaHamburger menu graphic to signify link to record data

Mimulus repens R.Br., Prodr. Fl. Nov. Holland. 439 (1810).

Illustrations: Barker, Fl. S. Austral. [J.M. Black] 3, ed. 4: 1287, fig. 585d (1986); Barker, Fl. New South Wales 3: 561, (1992); Barker, Fl. Victoria 4: 495, fig. 96e (1999); Wapstra et al, Tasmanian Plant Names Unravelled 276 (2010); Howells (Ed.), Tasmania’s Natural Flora 350 (2012).

Annual or perennial, terrestrial or semi-aquatic, glabrous succulent herb. Stems prostrate with ascending branches, 6–20 cm long, rooting at the nodes, mat-forming. Leaves opposite, often closely clustered on short axillary shoots, subsessile or sessile, sometimes ± stem-clasping, 2–10 mm long, 1.5–4.5 mm wide; lamina ± succulent, broadly elliptical or oblong or ovate, base rounded, margin entire, apex blunt. Flowers solitary, axillary; pedicel 1–10 mm long, elongating after anthesis. Calyx 4–6 mm long, folded, minutely 5-toothed, teeth almost equal, approximately 0.5 mm long. Corolla blueish, mauve or pale purple to pink, 12–15 mm long; tube 5–10 mm long; lower lip with a prominent yellow, hairy raised palate. Fruit globose to ellipsoid, 6–7 mm long. Flowering (Oct.–)Nov.–Jan.(–Apr).

Tas. (FUR, TNM, TSE, TSR); also Vic, NSW, Qld, SA, WA. Widespread on wet ground on the margin of lakes, and watercourses, often growing in brackish or saline lagoons in the Midlands or the East Coast of Tasmania, from sea level to approximately 250 m a.s.l.


Erythranthe Spach, Hist. Nat. Veg. Phan. 9: 312 (1838)

Annual or perennial, terrestrial or semi-aquatic glabrous or hirsute herbs. Stems prostrate to decumbent or erect, terete or angled. Leaves opposite or whorled, petiolate or sessile, glandular-punctate. Flowers solitary or in racemes, arranged singly in the axils of leaf-like bracts; bracteoles absent. Calyx tubular, 5-angled, shortly 5-toothed. Corolla tubular, tube symmetrical. Stamens 4, in pairs of unequal length; anthers of each pair joined, 2-locular, loculi divergent. Ovary 2-locular; stigma with 2 broad, equal flaps, irritable. Fruit a loculicidal capsule, enclosed within persistent calyx.

A genus of approximately 110 species, mostly in North America. Six species present in Australia, of which 4 are native and 2 are naturalised.

1 * Erythranthe moschata (Douglas ex Lindl.) G.L.Nesom, Phytoneuron 39: 38 (2012)

Musk monkeyflower

Thumbnail map of TasmaniaHamburger menu graphic to signify link to record data

Mimulus moschatus Douglas ex Lindl., Bot. Reg. 13, t.1118 (1828).

Illustrations: Barker, Fl. S. Austral. [J.M. Black] 3, ed. 4: 1287, fig. 585b (1986); Barker, Fl. New South Wales 3: 560, (1992); Barker, Fl. Victoria 4: 495, fig. 96a (1999).

Perennial, glandular-villous, viscous herb. Stems creeping or decumbent, rooting at the lower nodes, often much-branched, 10–50 cm long. Leaves shortly petiolate, (15–)25–50(–70) mm long, 15–25 mm wide; petiole 4–10 mm long; lamina mostly flat, ovate to broad-ovate, base rounded to cordate, margin toothed, apex acute to obtuse, mucronate. Flowers 1(–2), axillary, pedicel 1–2 cm long, bracteoles absent. Calyx glandular-hairy, 8–12 mm long, 5-angled, ± folded, teeth somewhat unequal, 3–4 mm long, lanceolate. Corolla yellow; tube cylindrical, 15–25 mm long; lobes spreading, rounded, lower lip with a palate containing two hirsute ridges. Fruit ovoid, with apex pointed, 5–6 mm long, held within persistent calyx. Flowering Nov.–Feb.

Tas. (FUR, TNS, TNM, BEL, TCH, TSR, TSE), naturalised; also naturalised in Vic, NSW, SA, ACT. Native to western North America. Tasmanian exotic populations may have originated from ornamental cultivars (Curtis 1967). Found in stream banks, swampy ground and wet places, mostly in the eastern half of the state, from near sea-level to over 900 m a.s.l.


APC (Australian Plant Census) https://biodiversity.org.au/nsl/services/apc

APG — The Angiosperm Phylogeny Group (2016) An update of the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group classification for the orders and families of flowering plants: APG IV. Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 181(1): 1–20. https://doi.org/10.1111/boj.12385

APNI (Australian Plant Name Index) https://biodiversity.org.au/nsl/services/apni

AVH (Australia’s Virtual Herbarium) (Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria) http://avh.chah.org.au/

Barker WR, Nesom GL, Beardsley PM, Fraga, NS (2012) A taxonomic conspectus of Phrymaceae: A narrowed

circumscriptions for Mimulus, new and resurrected genera, and new names and combinations. Phytoneuron 2012-39: 1–60.

Curtis WM (1967) Scrophulariaceae. The Student’s Flora of Tasmania 3: 510–533

IPNI (International Plant Name Index) http://www.ipni.org

NVA (Natural Values Atlas) (Department of Primary Industries and Water: Hobart) https://www.naturalvaluesatlas.tas.gov.au/

Spencer R (2002) Scrophulariaceae. Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia 4: 244–270

Stevens PF (2001 onwards). Angiosperm Phylogeny Website, Version 14, July 2017 http://www.mobot.org/MOBOT/research/APweb

NOTE: Web addresses can and do change: a list of current web addresses is maintained in the web version of this treatment on the Flora of Tasmania Online website at https://flora.tmag.tas.gov.au/

  1. This work can be cited as: de Salas MF (2019). Phrymaceae, version 2019:1. In MF de Salas (Ed.) Flora of Tasmania Online. 5 pp. (Tasmanian Herbarium, Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery: Hobart). https://flora.tmag.tas.gov.au/vascular-families/phrymaceae/ (accessed ).  ↩︎

  2. Tasmanian Herbarium, Tasmanian Museum & Art Gallery, PO Box 5058, UTAS LPO, Sandy Bay, TAS 7005, Australia.  ↩︎