T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Westringia fruticosa (Coast Rosemary)

Kingdom:   Plantae
(Unranked):        Angiosperms
(Unranked):        Eudicots
(Unranked):        Asterids
Order:       Lamiales
Family:      Lamiaceae
Genus:      Westringia
Species:  W. fruticosa
Binominal name: Westringia fruticosa
Synonyms: Westringia rosmariniformis.
Common name: Coast Rosemary, Australian name: Native Rosemary

Westringia fruticosa is a very tough shrub native to the coast of New South Wales where it can be seen hugging the cliffs and growing near the sand on the beach. It reaches at least 2 m high and 5 m across, often forming a regular dome with its lower branches covering the ground.
The flowers that appear all-year are set around the stems in the axils of the leaves. They are 2 centimetres across, white, hairy and have the upper petal divided into two lobes. They also have orange-to-purple spots on their bottom half near the throat.
The dark green leaves are up to 2 centimetres long, narrow and pointed and set closely in whorls around the stem. The leaves undersides are covered in tomentum.

The name 'Rosemary' refers to the appearance of the linear dark gray-green leaves that look similar to rosemary foliage only, as the leaves have not the familiar aroma. The name ‘Westringia’ honors Dr. Johan Peter Westring (1753-1833), a botanist and physician to King Charles XIII of Sweden. The specific epithet ‘fruticosa’ comes from the Latin word 'frutico' meaning "to put forth shoots" or "become bushy"







 

Underside of the small leaves.