Goodenia is a genus of about 200 species, almost all of which are confined to Australia although a few occur in the islands to the north. The genus gives its name to the Goodeniaceae family which includes several other well known genera including Lechenaultia, Dampiera and Scaevola. With a few exceptions goodenias, generally, are not widely cultivated despite the fact that most are small shrubs or herbs with colourful flowers and well suited to smaller gardens.
Goodenia macmillanii is a small, suckering shrub rarely more than about 200 mm high. The leaves are ovate with toothed margins and are about 8-10 cm long by 3-5 cm wide. The species is unusual in the genus in having pink flowers (most goodenias have yellow flowers). The flowers, which are about 20-25 mm diameter, occur in spring in the leaf axils and are conspicuous against the dark green leaves. Flowering is generally in spring but some flowers may be seen at other times.
This species is not widely cultivated but is suitable to smaller gardens and containers and as a rockery or foreground plant in larger gardens. It is suited to most reasonably well drained soils in sun or partial shade. The plant spreads by suckering but it is not invasive. The plant does not tolerate extended dry conditions well and will die back unless watered.
Propagation of G.macmillanii is very easy from cuttings taken at most times of the year. Propagation by division of the suckering clumps is also successful. Seed is likely to germinate reliably but is not easily obtained.
Photo: Brian Walters