Plant of the Month — November 2009
Hibbertia stellaris Endl. — Orange Stars
This beautiful, small shrub has a variety of habits including erect or prostrate, slender or bushy and grows from 0.15-1.5 m high. Its flowers of orange, or orange/yellow are a striking stand-out attraction in the bushland from August to December. It can be found in a variety of soils, including sandy, clay, gravelly roadside verges, swampy areas and winter-wet depressions of the Swan Coastal Plain, Darling Scarp and Range throughout the region. It also occurs north to near Cervantes and extends through the extreme south west to the south coast and east to Esperance.
Hibbertia stellaris belongs to the Dilleniaceae family and the genus has a curious range, believed to indicate former continental connections. There are 122 species world-wide, occurring mostly in Madagascar, but also in Malesia (a biogeographical region straddling the boundary of the Indomalaya and Australasia ecozones), Australia, New Caledonia and Fiji.
The name Hibbertia was named for George Hibbert (1757-1837), an English merchant and nurseryman who had a botanic garden at Clapham, London and whose herbarium was eventually presented to the Linnean Society. The specific epithet stellaris is derived from the Latin stella star, or star-like, alluding to the almost glowing colour of the flowers.
Photo: B.A. Fuhrer
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