Bursaria spinosa flowering now

We were recently reminded about this wonderful plant by Mid Lachlan Landcare member Ruth Workman. This is what she had to say :

“The Bursaria spinosa is in full froth at the moment. We all need reminding just how great this sweet smelling, mid-summer flowering, adaptable, drought hardy, frost hardy, spikey, bird protecting, insect attracting, gorgeous shrub really is! All this frilly, honey scented blossom, in the middle of summer when most things have stopped flowering in normal years, followed by attractive colourful seed pods. What is not to love!”

What more can we add to this description!! It really is beautiful when out in flower and so special that it flowers in Summer. It is found in Box Gum Grassy Woodlands and can grow from 2-10m high. Interestingly there are 2 subspecies, B. spinosa subsp. spinosa and B. spinosa subsp. lasiophylla. The subspecies lasiophylla is the host plant for the Purple Copper Butterfly. This Butterfly is a threatened species and there is, and has been, plenty of work going on to grow and plant this subspecies over Lithgow/Bathurst way. The aim is to help increase the habitat for the Butterfly. You can see a great video on the Purple Copper Butterfly here.

Thanks to Ruth Workman for the photos

Within our Mid Lachlan Landcare region, we have the subspecies spinosa as far as I know. We are a bit low in the Landscape as the Butterflies are only found over the 900-metre altitude mark.

This plant is hardy and easy to grow. Just remember it is spiky so don’t put it somewhere you need to get access to very often. It is a good addition to your garden and can apparently be pruned.

If you have remnant patches of Box Gum Grassy Woodland on your farm it would be great if you planted a few of these in your patch. It is also a good plant to include in any revegetation works you might be undertaking.

So, if you’re looking for a hardy native that grows in the region and has beautiful perfumed flowers in the Summer this is the plant for you.

Fun Fact : The leaves of Bursaria contain a secondary compound called aesculin (a coumarin glucoside), which was exploited as an ingredient in sunscreens in the 1940s and is used in medical research today.

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