Plant of the Month
August 2022

POTM

Mairenana atkinsiana (W.Fitzg.) Paul G.Wilson

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Maireana atkinsiana (Bronze Bluebush) is an intricately branched shrub growing to 60 cm high with slightly hairy, succulent, obovoid leaves, 5–10 mm long. The flowers are dioecious (meaning the male and female unisexual flowers occur on different plants) and rudimentary, consisting of a flat to cup-shaped tube which later expands to form the fruit.

This image depicts a plant in fruit. The papery, wing like, fruiting perianth can vary in colour from pink-red to an orange-bronze when mature and features a finely scalloped or notched outline. The shape, ornamentation and indumentum on fruits are informative in the identification of the species.

Bronze Bluebush can be found from Shark Bay south to near Watheroo and as far east as Laverton where it usually grows around salt lakes.

Photo: R. Davis

Find out more about Mairenana atkinsiana (W.Fitzg.) Paul G.Wilson