Sp. Pl. 1: 359. 1753.


Gen. Pl. ed. 5, 169. 1754.

Etymology: For Claudius Galenius, a.d. 130–200, Roman physician and writer on medicine
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 4. Treatment on page 78. Mentioned on page 76, 77, 7.

Subshrubs [herbs or shrubs], perennial. Roots fibrous. Stems ± prostrate, semiwoody at base, with vesicular, peltate, hairlike scales. Leaves cauline, alternate [opposite], sessile; stipules absent; blade flat, margins entire; earlier leaves larger within 1 growing season. Inflorescences axillary, flowers solitary, sessile; bracts absent. Flowers bisexual, inconspicuous, 2–3 mm diam.; calyx tubular; calyx lobes [4 or]5, white, pink, or yellow, linear, oblong, or lanceolate-oblong; petals and petaloid staminodia absent; nectary glands absent; stamens 10, paired, pairs alternating with calyx lobes; pistil 2–5-carpellate; ovary superior, 2–5-loculed, angled; placentation apical-axile; ovule 1 per locule, with long funicles; styles 2–5; stigmas 2–5. Fruits capsules, 3–5-angled, leathery, apex 3–5-lobed, truncate, dehiscence loculicidal at apex of angles. Seeds 2–5, black, ribbed, triangular to compressed and reniform, 1 mm, shiny, tuberculate; arils absent.


Introduced; s Africa, Australia.


Species 27 (2 in the flora).

The two species of Galenia introduced in the flora belong to subgenus Kolleria (C. Presl) Frenzl as emended by R. S. Adamson (1956; 21 spp.). Kolleria is characterized by alternate, obovate leaves over 5 mm wide, four or five perianth segments, and four or five styles.

The key below is adapted from A. Prescott (1984).


1 Leaves and stems gray-green; younger stems with sparse, closely appressed scales, 0.5 mm; calyx lobes white to pink adaxially; styles 5 Galenia pubescens
1 Leaves and stems gray-white; younger stems with abundant, loosely appressed scales, 1.5 mm; calyx lobes white to yellow adaxially; styles usually 4 Galenia secunda