Westringia fruticosa - Coastal rosemary

Submitted by peter on Mon, 12/28/2020 - 10:59

Coastal rosemary, Westringia fruticosa, is a tough plant that looks like rosemary and can be used in hedges like rosemary but not for cooking. Westringia fruticosa survives in the worst coastal exposure around Sydney and most of the eastern coast of Australia, a good choice for your house by the sea.

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Three Coastal rosemary flowers showing the pink spots on white petals. The top petal is divided and looks like two petals.

The flowers are white with small pink spots or orange spots or purple spots on the bottom petals. The flower looks like it has five petals but it actually has four petals with the top petal divided most of the way, creating two lobes that look like separate petals from a distance.

The flower has four stamens with the top two working while the bottom two are decorative. There is often no noticeable difference between the stamens.

Westringia is a genus of Australian plants containing 33 species. All share similar flowers. Most are grown for their green foliage and vary from a grey green through yellowish greens to the deep green of fruticosa.

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Coastal rosemary bush in flower during December at the Bouddi National Park.

Westringia is a member of the Lamiaceae family, the mint family. Lamiaceae includes basil, sage, lavender, some trees, including teak, and vines. They all share flowers that have the top petals in a different pattern to the bottom petals.