Friday, July 20, 2012

Westringia cheelii

Family: Lamiaceae

Common name: Mallee Rosemary

Flowers: Upper lip erect 2-lobed, lower lip spreading 3-lobed, white with purplish to brownish dots. Calyx green, outer surface glabrose (without hairs) - hairless calyx is the easiest feature to distinguish Westringia cheelii from Westringi rigida. Flowering period Aug to Nov.

Leaves and stems: Leaves are arranged in whorls of 3, 2mm wide and up to 7mm long, recurved (margins rolled under) slightly, with both surfaces sparsely hairy. Branchlets can have lateral shallow grooves.

Habit and Habitat: Westringia cheelii is a spreading shrub to 1.5mt high growing in mallee, woodland, and dry schlerophyll forest in sandy soil. It is recorded as common in the Pilliga Scrub, and I have seen it growing in heaths in the central Pilliga. It also occurs in Qld.
Note the hairless calyx, a distinguishing feature

Leaf margins slightly recurved, underside of leaf and stem has white hairs

Upper surface also has short white hairs

Westringia Cheelii habit and habitat in The Pilliga