Stylidium laricifolium

Distribution Map
Family: Stylidiaceae
Distribution: From the granite belt in south-east Queensland, coast, tablelands and western slopes of New South Wales and far eastern Victoria.
Common Name: No generally accepted common name other than the generic "trigger plant".
Derivation of Name: Stylidium...From Greek stylos, a column, referring to the united stamens and style.
laricifolium...From the genus Larix, the larch, and Latin, folius, a leaf, referring to the larch-like foliage.
Conservation Status: Not considered to be at risk in the wild.

General Description:

Stylidium is a genus of about 130 species, most of which occur in Australia with a few being found in Asia. They are known as "trigger plants" because of the unique, irritable flower column which is triggered by insect visitors. The trigger remains cocked until an insect probes the flower and then springs upwards and deposits pollen on the back of the insect which then transfers the pollen to another flower.

Stylidium laricifolium
Stylidium laricifolium
Photo: Murray Fagg - Australian National Botanic Gardens

Stylidium laricifolium is larger than most trigger plants and is a large herb or sub-shrub from 0.5 to to about 1 metre in height. It has fine, pine-like foliage of linear leaves up to 40 mm long by about 1 mm wide. The pale-pink flowers occur in spikes at the ends of the branches in spring.

Trigger depositing pollen on a bee
The trigger of a Stylidium species depositing pollen
onto the head of a bee

Photo: Sheryl Tobin

Stylidiums, generally, are not widely cultivated and can be difficult to maintain in gardens. S.laricifolium requires excellent drainage in a sandy soil and is best grown in full, or almost full, sun. The species is an excellent subject for growing in a container.

Propagation may be carried out from seed or cuttings.

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