Calytrix sapphirina

Distribution Map
Family: Myrtaceae
Distribution: Sandplains and woodland in south-eastern and south Western Australia.
Common Name: No generally accepted common name.
Derivation of Name: Calytrix...from Greek words, calyx and thrix (a hair); referring to hairs at the end of the calyx lobes.
sapphirina... From Latin sapphir, a sapphire and the suffix -inus, resembling, referring to the colour of the flowers in thr type species.
Conservation Status: Not considered to be at risk in the wild.

General Description:

Calytrix consists of about 75 species, all endemic to Australia with the greatest concentration being in the south-west corner. Most are small to medium shrubs with star-like flowers ranging in colour from white through, yellow, pink and purple to red.

Calytrix sapphirina
Calytrix sapphirina
Photo: Geoff Clarke

Calytrix sapphirina is a small shrub from 0.5 to about 1 metre high. The leaves are linear in shape, crowded and about 5-6 mm long. The star-shaped flowers are 10 mm in diameter and may be pink, blue or purple. In common with most Calytrix species, a feature of the flowers is the "awns" or fine hairs which extend from the calyx lobes beyond the petals. Flowering occurs in late winter and spring.

Apart from C.tetragona (fringe myrtle), Calytrix has not received widespread cultivation. C.sapphirina should be reliable in well drained positions in temperate climates which have a fairly dry summer, preferably in a semi shaded position. Cultivation in more humid climates may be possible but plants will probably not be reliable or long lived in those areas.

Propagation is best from cuttings as seed can be difficult to germinate. Experimentation into the use of grafting has been carried out with Calytrix species using the closely related genus Darwinia as root stock. Some success has been reported but it is not known whether grafting of C.sapphirina has been attempted.

For further information on cultivation and propagation of Calytrix, see the article Growing Calytrix.


◄◄ Photo Gallery Index    ◄ Photo Gallery Thumbnails    Top ▲
◄ Chamelaucium and Relatives Thumbnails