Agonis is a small genus of 4 species all of which occur naturally only in south Western Australia. Recent re-classification of the genus has seen a number of species transferred to other genera (Paragonis and Taxandria). Agonis species range from medium shrubs to medium-sized trees and most are cultivated to some extent.
Agonis baxteri (formerly known as Agonis obtusissima) is a bushy, medium to large shrub to about 3 metres high. The leaves are elliptical to oval shaped, up to 40 mm long and dark green in colour. They have a prominent mid-vein as well as a prominent vein near the edges of the leaves. The white, 5-petalled flowers occur in clusters from the leaf axils in spring and early summer. Individual flowers are about 12-15 mm in diameter. This species is superficially similar to the related Taxandria marginata which occurs in the same general area. The most obvious difference between the two species is the short, dense hairs around the leaf margins of T.marginata.
Although not widely grown, this is an attractive large shrub for temperate areas in a sunny, well drained position.
Propagation is easy from seed which does not require any pretreatment prior to sowing. Cuttings of firm, current season’s growth also usually strike reliably.
Photo: Brian Walters