Guichenotia is a genus of about 6 species all occurring in the south and south-east of Western Australia. They are closely related to Thomasia, Lysiosepalum and Lasiopetaum. G. macrantha is the best known and most widely cultivated member of the genus.
Guichenotia macrantha is a small to medium shrub from 1 to 2 metres in height by a similar width. The leaves are linear in shape, about 10 – 25 mm long and grey-green in colour. The pink to mauve flowers appear in spring and are conspicuously displayed. The petals are very small and the sepals provide the colourful parts of the flowers.
This is a popular garden plant that has been in cultivation for many years. Although native to a dry summer climate, G.macrantha is reasonably hardy in well drained soils in temperate areas of the eastern states, unlike many other plants from a similar natural habitat. It prefers well drained soils in partial shade but it will tolerate more exposed locations. It tolerates extended dry conditions once established.
Propagation can be carried out from seed which does not require any pretreatment, but germination can be unreliable. Cuttings of firm, current season’s growth usually strike reliably.
Photo: Tony Cavanagh