Stackhousia monogyna

Distribution Map
Family: Celastraceae
Distribution: All states except the Northern Territory
Common Name: Creamy candles.
Derivation of Name: Stackhousia; after John Stackhouse, a botanist.
monogyna; having a single carpel (the female structure of the flower). In this case, a misnomer, as there are 3 carpels.
Conservation Status: Not considered to be at risk in the wild.

General Description:

Stackhousia is a small genus of 14 species, 13 of which are endemic to Australia. They are annual or perennial herbs found throughout Australia as well as in countries to the north and in New Zealand. They are not well known and are rarely cultivated.

Stackhousia monogyna
Stackhousia monogyna
Photo: Brian Walters

Stackhousia monogyna is the most widespread species and can be found in alpine areas and in coastal districts in heath, grassland, woodland and open forest. It has erect, leafy stems arising from a perennial rootstock and reaches about 500mm high. The cream flowers occur in candle-like clusters (30-100mm long) at the ends of the stems in spring and summer. The flowers have a pleasant scent at night.

This is a very desirable small plant for gardens but it is rarely cultivated as it has proven difficult to maintain. Best results are likely to be achieved in well drained, moist soils with some protection from full sun.

Seed of S.monogyna is rarely available and propagation is best carried out from cuttings of new stems arising from the rootstock. Propagation can also be carried out by division.

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