Thursday, January 12, 2012

Narrow-leafed Myrtle

Backhousia angustifolia (Anetholea anisata)
The Backhousia species are all good garden subjects - attractive plants with aromatic leaves, fluffy white flowers (now showing), and bird-attracting fruits to come in autumn.

This narrow-leafed plant of the inland, photographed on a dry, grassy hillside at the Bunya Mountains, is the hardiest of them all, but is less often grown than are its softer cousins.
This is probably because it is not native in the coastal regions near Australia’s biggest cities, rather than because it is any less suitable for gardens.

Shown here as a fairly young plant, it is obviously something that would make a good screen. As it matures, it develops into small tree, which may have a single trunk, or be multi-stemmed - something a gardener can manipulate with judicious use of secateurs. It might reach 7m, but is most likely to be smaller.

The smell of the crushed leaves varies from site to site, with some smelling of curry or lavender. These ones, however, smelled of aniseed.

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