Lomatia tinctoria

Distribution Map
Family: Proteaceae
Distribution: Open forests and woodlands of Tasmania from sea level to about 1000 metres
Common Name: Guitar plant.
Derivation of Name: Lomatia; from Greek loma, a fringe, referring to the wing that surrounds the seed.
tinctoria; from Latin tinctorius, dye-producing, referring to a powder found in the fruit.
Conservation Status: Not considered to be at risk in the wild.

General Description:

Lomatia is a genus of about 12 species, most of which occur in eastern Australia but 3 or 4 are found in South America.

Lomatia tinctoria
Lomatia tinctoria
Photo: Australian Plants Society (NSW)

Lomatia tinctoria is a small shrub which may reach 2 metres in height but is often smaller and spreading through suckers. The leaves are up to 800mm long, divided into small leaflets (pinnate) ad are dark green in colour. New growth may have a rusty colour. The cream or white flowers occur in summer in racemes in the leaf axils or at the ends of branches. The flowers are followed by dry fruits containing a number of winged seeds.

This species is not widely cultivated but is a hardy shrub for semi-shaded positions in temperate climates. It will tolerate extended dry periods once established but performs best if adequate moisture is provided. It accepts a range of soils provided drainage is reasonable and will tolerate moderate to severe frost.

The species may be grown from seed which germinates well without pretreatment. Cuttings also strike readily.

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