The genus was first defined in 1798 by James Edward Smith, who did not designate a type species. The genus name is derived from the Ancient Greek word lasios "hairy", and the Botanical Greek petalon "petal", and refers to the hairy calyx. Lasiopetalum was previously classified in the family Sterculiaceae, however that family has been sunk into an expanded Malvaceae. Within the family, it gives its name to its tribe Lasiopetaleae, which contains about ten genera, located mostly in Australia. It is closely related to Guichenotia, although the exact relationship and genus delineation is unclear pending further research.
Most species are spreading or prostrate many-branched shrubs. Commonly known as velvet bushes, they derive their common name from the pubescent (finely-furred) nature of the stems, leaves and flowers. Their leaves are generally arranged alternately on the stems. The flowerheads are either axillary or terminal. The flowers are small, the five-lobed calyces are hairy and the petals tiny.
The genus is rarely cultivated, although many species have flushes of attractive reddish hairy new growth, and several were cultivated in England in the 19th century.
- Lasiopetalum angustifolium W.Fitzg. (Narrow-leaved Lasiopetalum)
- Lasiopetalum baueri Steetz ( slender velvet bush)
- Lasiopetalum behrii F.Muell. (pink velvet-bush)
- Lasiopetalum bracteatum (Endl.) Benth. (Helena Velvet Bush)
- Lasiopetalum compactum Paust
- Lasiopetalum cordifolium Endl.
- Lasiopetalum dielsii E.Pritz.
- Lasiopetalum discolor Hook.
- Lasiopetalum drummondii Benth.
- Lasiopetalum ferrugineum (Sm.) Andrews
- Lasiopetalum fitzgibbonii F.Muell.
- Lasiopetalum floribundum Benth. (Free-flowering Lasiopetalum)
- Lasiopetalum glabratum Paust
- Lasiopetalum indutum Steud.
- Lasiopetalum joyceae BlLakely
- Lasiopetalum lineare Paust
- Lasiopetalum longistamineum Maiden & Betche
- Lasiopetalum macrophyllum Graham (shrubby velvet bush)
- Lasiopetalum maxwellii F.Muell.
- Lasiopetalum membranaceum (Steud.) Benth.
- Lasiopetalum membraniflorum F.Muell.
- Lasiopetalum micranthum Hook.f.
- Lasiopetalum microcardium E.Pritz.
- Lasiopetalum molleBenth. (Soft-leaved Lasiopetalum )
- Lasiopetalum monticola Paust
- Lasiopetalum ogilvieanum F.Muell.
- Lasiopetalum oldfieldii F.Muell.
- Lasiopetalum oppositifolium F.Muell.
- Lasiopetalum parviflorum Rudge
- Lasiopetalum parvuliflorum F.Muell.
- Lasiopetalum quinquenervium Turcz.
- Lasiopetalum rosmarinifolium (Turcz.) Benth.
- Lasiopetalum rotundifolium Paust
- Lasiopetalum rufum R.Br. ex Benth.
- Lasiopetalum schulzenii (F.Muell.) Benth.
- Lasiopetalum x tepperi F.Muell.
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