Saturday, 16 September 2017

Mary's flower?

There's a small perennial shrub, about 40cm high, that flowers in the Brisbane Ranges and in heathland near Geelong called Rhytidosporum procumbens White Marianth. I don't know the origin of the word 'marianth but several sources suggest it means 'Mary's flower'. procumbens means 'lying on the ground' and Rhytidosporum means 'wrinkled seed'.

In the past it has been called a Billardiera and Marianthus and a Pittosporum but in 1862 von Mueller, the Government Botanist in Victoria, transferred it to the genus Rhytidosporum, but it remains in the Pittosporaceae family.

White Marianth Rhytidosporum procumbens, Steiglitz, Victoria
The White Marianth thrives on poor soils of south-eastern Australia but can be easily overlooked and many people would be struggling to name it. The leaves are interesting because some, but not all, have three teeth on the apex.

No comments: