Plant of the Month — September 2011
Conospermum caeruleum R.Br. — Blue Brother
Growing to no more than a metre high, Conospermum caeruleum is a perennial herb of the genus commonly known as ‘Smokebush’, belonging to the Proteaceae family. It is a less common and more delicate species than the silver/white flowered species of the typical Smokebush. Conospermum caeruleum has six subspecies, one of which is a DEC Priority One species, (C. caeruleum subsp. contortum), and is one of the many diverse flowers that favour the flora-rich mesic refuge of the south-west of Western Australia.
Conospermum caeruleum is suited to a wide range of soil types, from swampy to sandy, and habitats, from heath to shrubland and woodland. It is found from Busselton to Bremer Bay and inland to Kojonup.
The genus typically has low seed viability and a low propagation rate from cuttings, making it a plant unsuited to the local nursery industry in general, although some of its more common relatives may be found occasionally at specialist wildflower nurseries.
Look out for this little beauty while travelling in the south-west and enjoy it in its own location.
Photo: R. Davis
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