Plant of the Month — August 2012
Pileanthus peduncularis Endl. — Coppercups
Pileanthus peduncularis is a striking orange-red flowering shrub, its beauty and colour being enhanced by the added interest of fringed petals. It has a spreading habit and ranges in height from 0.2–1.5m. This shrub is reasonably widespread and grows in heath on red, yellow or white sand dunes and plains. This species has two subspecies: P. peduncularis subsp. peduncularis which grows from Kalbarri, south to Mogumber and inland to Bruce Rock and P. peduncularis subsp. pilifer growing north from Kalbarri to Minilya. P. peduncularis subsp. peduncularis can be distinguished by the beautiful purple to red colour at the base of the flowers; the flowers of the other subspecies are orange throughout.
Pileanthus belongs to the large botanical family Myrtaceae, and is closely related to the genera Chamelaucium, Darwinia, and Verticordia. The genus name is derived from the Greek pileos (cap) and anthos (flowers), referring to the two close-fitting bracteoles covering the flower buds. The species name peduncularis refers to the strong peduncle or flower stalk required to hold the bunches of flowers.
This beautiful copper-coloured shrub grows in areas which are popular tourist locations, so that its blooms are appreciated not just by the local population, but by world travellers passing through from September to November.
Photo: A. Doley
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