News and Events

Botanical Buzz - Westringia Fruticosa

Monday, September 08, 2014

Every garden needs botanical heroes.  These are plants that can fight off pests and disease, survive extremes of weather and look great all year round.

Should more delicate beauties succumb to unexpected misfortune; these hardy plants help keep a garden looking beautiful.

Westringia fruticosa is one of the Dubbo Regional Botanic Garden’s modest champions. This tough evergreen shrub belongs to the family Lamiaceae and is native to the coastal cliffs of eastern Australia.

Leaves are up to 2 centimetres long, narrow and pointed and set closely in whorls around the stem. The white, slightly hairy flowers are two centimetres across. The upper petal is divided into two lobes and spots embellish the bottom half of the flower.

Westringia fruticosa can grow to at least 2 m high and 5 m across, often forming a regular dense dome with its lower branches covering the ground. After reaching a mature size it does not deteriorate quickly with age as some species do, but maintains a good condition for some years. It also responds well to pruning and can be used as a hedge.

Westringia fruticosa flowers all year round and this characteristic combined with its tolerance to a variety of soils and low maintenance make it a popular garden plant.

It was named for Dr Johan Petter Westring (1753-1833) physician to King Karl XlV of Sweden and a keen lichenologist.  Westring was particularly interested in how lichens could be used to make dyes and paints.

Although Westringia fruticosa is commonly called Coastal or Native Rosemary, it is not rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) and should not be used in cooking.  Westringia fruticosa can be found in Shoyoen and  Rosmarinus officinalis grows in the Sensory Gardens.

Come and enjoy a refreshing stroll through the beautiful Dubbo Regional Botanic Garden, a garden designed to celebrate every season.
                                                                                                                                  By Ian McAlister & Karen Hagan