Plant of the Month — September 2014
Conospermum caeruleum — Blue Brother
Conospermum caeruleum (Blue Brother) is a prostrate or straggly shrub to 1 m high. The flowers are borne on dense terminal heads and have a blue to pink 2-lipped perianth. Conospermum caeruleum is a variable species with six subspecies and is widespread across southern Western Australia, often occurring in winter-wet habitats.
This species is rarely seen in cultivation, however, staff at the Western Australian Herbarium have demonstrated its horticultural potential by featuring it in one of the raised planter boxes in the courtyard of the Keiran McNamara Conservation Science Centre. It has been planted in a clay-based soil alongside striking stands of Meeboldina and assorted herbs from winter-wet habitats, and forms a spectacular floral display during winter and early spring. The nine planter boxes around the Conservation Science Centre feature more than 200 Western Australian species, including newly discovered plants that are being studied in preparation for scientific naming and description, and species that are rare and the subject of conservation research.
Photo: R. Davis