Plant of the Month — September 2017
Pimelea physodes Hook. — Qualup Bell
Pimelea physodes (Qualup Bell) is an erect, spindly, shrub growing to a metre high. It occurs mostly in the Fitzgerald River National Park where it can be quite common, and flowers from July to October.
The small flowers occur in clusters at the ends of the branches and are enclosed by large, reddish-purple, leafy bracts that produce showy, bell-shaped, pendulous flower heads, making this species perhaps the most spectacular member of the genus.
The species epithet is from the Greek physodes meaning ‘bellows-like’, referring to the inflated shape of the flower head. The flower shape bears a striking resemblance to some of the species in Darwinia, particularly Darwinia macrostegia. This similarity demonstrates a degree of parallel evolution, with both genera adapting to bird pollination.
Photo: R. Davis
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