Family Malvaceae > Subfamily Byttnerioideae.
The old Commersonia genus, with about 58 species has been revised.
Species, with hairless staminodes and extrorse anthers, were moved into the new genus Androclava.
The new Commersonia s.s., with about 43 species, have hairy staminodes and anthers that open laterally.
All Rulingia were moved into the new Commersonia genus but some still regard them as separate genera.
Many Commersonia species are found in Australia.
They are mostly shrubs or small trees and a few are prostrate with stems up to 1 m long.
Stems, leaves and inflorescences have stellate hairs and sometimes glandular hairs.
Juvenile leaves have 3 (4 – 5) lobes, finely toothed edges and stellate hairs.
Adult leaves are simple, commonly ovate but also oblong to lanceolate or nearly linear.
Stipules are present but may fall off and petioles are from 0.6 to 3 cm long.
Leaves alternate, either in 2 ranks or spirally arranged.
Leaves are 2 to 16 cm long and up to 3 cm wide.
The base is usually flattish or cordate, and sometimes unequal and the tip acute or blunt.
Part, or all, of the edge may have fine teeth and it can be curved under.
The blade can be flat or wrinkled.
The upper leaf surface can be smooth to densely hairy.
The lower surface is often much paler due to the dense hairs.
The hairs are a mix of various types – stiff or velvety; white, white with brown or gold;
long or short and simple or stellate.
Some of the simple hairs can have red, pink or orange glands on the tips.
Inflorescences are mostly opposite the leaves but terminal in a few species.
They are up to 40 cm long with 1 to many flowers.
There may be small, linear bracts.
Flowers, on short stalks, are only a few mms across.
The 5 calyx lobes, up to 6 mm long, are petal-like.
They are white to pink and have stellate hairs.
The 5 white, cream or pinkish petals are from 1 to 5 mm long.
The broad base is concave and the upper part is narrow and strap-like.
The 5 stamens, on short filamens, lie in the cup-like base.
Anthers open via slits either outwards or laterally.
The bases of the 5 alternating stamens and staminodes are fused.
Staminodes can be smooth or hairy.
They have 3 lobes that vary in shape and size between the species.
The ovary has 5 locules with up to 6 ovules in each.
The 5 styles can be separate, or partially or fully fused.
They are sometimes twisted and the stigmas can be separate of fused.
The fruit are roughly globular loculicidal capsules from 2 to 18 mm across.
Some are smooth but most have bristles with white stellate hairs.
There may be a few glandular hairs.