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Flora of Australia Online

Stirlingia latifolia (R.Br.) Steud., Nomencl. Bot. 2nd edn, 2: 644 (1841)
Blueboy

Simsia latifolia R.Br., Suppl. Prodr. Fl. Nov. Holl. 9 (1830). T: Mt Manypeak[s], near King George Sound [W.A.], 1823, W.Baxter ; holo: BM.

Stirlingia paniculata Lindl., Sketch Veg. Swan R. xxx (1839). T: Swan River district, W.A., 183–, J.Mangles ; holo: CGE.

Simsia latifolia var. gracilis Ostenf., Biol. Meddel. Kongel. Danske Vidensk. Selsk. 3: 50 (1921). T: Kings Park, Perth, W.A., 13 Oct. 1914, C.H.Ostenfeld 681 ; iso: PERTH.

Illustrations: R.Erickson et al. , Fl. & Pl. W. Australia 27, pl. 39 (1973); A.S.George, Intr. Proteaceae W. Australia 102, figs 151–153 (1984); J.W.Wrigley & M.Fagg, Banksias, Waratahs & Grevilleas 525 (1989).

Shrub with woody rootstock. Stems many, to 70 cm long. Leaves extending well up stem, leathery; petiole 3–10 cm long, ±terete at base, flattened upwards; lamina to 10 cm long, divided up to 3 times into flat, obtuse, often shallowly hooded lobes 1–15 mm wide. Scape to 1.5 m tall; panicle much-branched; heads 9–15 mm diam.; bracts ovate, obtuse to acute, 0.5–1 mm long, glabrous. Perianth 3–7 mm long; limb narrower than tube. Nut 4–5.5 mm diam., silky, hairy on top. 

Widespread and often common in south-western W.A. from Kalbarri to Albany, mostly within 50 km of the coast, but extending inland to the Stirling Range. Grows in deep sand, in kwongan, shrubland and woodland. Flowers Sept.–Oct.; fruits Oct.–Jan. Map 124.

W.A.: Cockleshell Gully, W.E.Blackall 3587 (PERTH); South Perth, R.J.Cranfield 491 (PERTH); Yelverton State Forest, ENE of Margaret River, G.J.Keighery 11515 (PERTH); 25 km E of Cranbrook, R.H.Kuchel 1909 (AD, PERTH); 19 km E of Green Head, A.E.Orchard 423 (AD, PERTH).

Easily distinguished by the robust habit, flat leaf segments and large nut. Variable in the width of leaf lobes and in the size and density of the panicle. Flowers pungently scented. The common name refers to the fact that wall plaster made using sand from where the species occurs turns blue. Flowering is enhanced the first season after fire.

(A.S.George)

 

Data derived from Flora of Australia Volumes 16 (1995), 17A (2000) and 17B (1999), products of ABRS, ©Commonwealth of Australia