Plants of South Eastern New South Wales

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Philotheca buxifolia

Common name

A Waxflower

Box-leaf Waxflower (subsp. buxifolia)



Where found

Dry forest and heath.

subsp. buxifolia:  Mainly coast and ranges north of Wollongong. Jervis Bay

subsp. falcata:  Jervis Bay

subsp. obovata:  Sydney area and north. Blue Mountains. Jervis Bay to Ulladulla.


Shrub to 1.3 m high. Stems cylindrical, ribbed, finely bristly. Leaves aromatic when rubbed, alternating up the stems, 0.6–1.8 cm long, 3–12 mm wide, surfaces mostly hairless, upper surface more or less flat to concave or strongly folded together lengthwise, smooth, lower surface keeled and glandular, margins entire or scalloped and sometimes slightly curved down, tips rounded and with a small abrupt point. Flowers with 5 white to pink petals, each 8–15 mm long. Stamens free from each other, the filaments usually hairy from the base, sometimes cohering by intertwined hairs. Flowers single. Flowers Winter to Spring.

Intergrades with Philotheca hispidula, Philotheca myoporoides, and Philotheca scabra.

Protected NSW.  

subsp. buxifolia:  Leaves round to broad-elliptic, 3.5–12 mm wide, not strongly folded together and strongly curved; bases cordate; lower surface smooth, margins entire. Flower stalks hairless or rarely finely bristly.

subsp. falcata:  Leaves round to broad-elliptic, 3.5–12 mm wide, strongly folded together and strongly curved; base narrowed; lower surface gland dotted, margins entire. Flower stalks hairless or finely rough. 

subsp. obovata:  Leaves oval with a pointed top, 3–6 mm wide, base wedge-shaped, margins strongly glandular and scalloped, lower surface glandular-warty, midrib very prominent. Flower stalks sparsely and finely bristly.

PlantNET description:  (accessed 25 January, 2021)