Plant of the Month — May 2007
Baeckea camphorosmae Endl. — Camphor Myrtle
This name has since been transferred to Babingtonia, see Plant of the Month, May 2014.
This delightful, small shrub displays a delicate splash of shell pink in autumn (May) right through to the end of summer (February). It is a member of the Myrtaceae family, extending from Eneabba in the north to near Albany in the south. Baeckea camphorosmae occurs mainly in heavy soils on the Darling Scarp and Range and on the eastern side of the Coastal Plain, and is also recorded in sand on the western side of the Coastal Plain.
The genus takes is name from Abraham Baeck (1713–1795), a Swedish naturalist and physician, who was Linnaeus’ best friend. The species name, camphorosmae, is derived from the Latin camphora and the Greek osme, meaning smell or scent, hence ‘camphor-scented’.
The diverse Baeckea group extends from Tasmania to China (where the type specimen for Baeckea was collected), and is currently under revision by Australian scientists.
Photo: A. Ireland
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