Medium, dense shrub to 1.5 m with branches to the ground. Leaves
small, lance-shaped, 4–5 mm long, 2–3 mm wide with a pointed tip and in a
dense arrangement along the stem, often overlapping towards the growing point.
Flowers comprising clusters of stamens, 6–8 mm long in dense terminal spikes
often covering the branchlets, white, pinkish-purple in the bud stage often with the
vegetative growing point exceeding the flower spike. Seeds produced in flattened
circular capsules, 3 mm wide, 3 mm tall, in clusters of up to 50 at intervals along the
stem with each cluster indicating a flowering cohort. Capsules open in response to
fire or senescence of the stem. Seeds fine, dust-like and interspersed with abundant
fine, sterile (non-germinative) packing (ovulodes).
Open pollinated by a variety of insects including bees and beetles, and
visited by ants and other nectar-seeking insects.
Favours shallow soils over limestone from Shark Bay to Augusta. In the
Perth region common along the coast, particularly in areas with limestone sub-soil
or emergent limestone where the plant can sometimes form dense thickets. Occurs
on off-shore islands. At Shark Bay an attractive pink-flowered sub-species occurs on
limestone breakaways in coastal areas.
Readily propagated by seed sown into seed trays in autumn and winter.
Seedlings emerge in 4–6 weeks and can be pricked-out and transferred to pots when
10–12 weeks old.
Uses in restoration:
Useful in rehabilitation of limestone areas and in stable secondary
location. Makes an ideal screen or background subject and is popular with native
birds and insects.