Pimelea spectabilis Lindl.

Common names: Bunjong
Scientific name: Pimelea spectabilis Lindl.
Family: Thymelaeaceae

Etymology

Pimelea – From Greek pimele, soft fat, presumably referring to the oily seeds or fleshy cotyledons.

spectabilis – From Latin spectabilis, notable or admirable, referring to the flower heads

Native Habitat

Occurs in gravelly or rocky sand, usually on hills, often in Eucalyptus marginata (Jarrah) forest.

Description

Pimelea spectabilis is an erect shrub which may reach about 2 metres in height but is usually smaller. The leaves are about 20-30 mm long, with a narrow elliptical shape, tapering gradually to a soft point. The flower clusters are typical of many Pimelea species in that they occur in globular shaped heads. These heads are large, very conspicuous, up to 50 mm or more in diameter, with cream to white flowers on the outside and becoming pink towards the centre. 

Flowering

Flowering occurs in winter and spring. 

Location in Garden

Annan, Big Idea Garden, bed 102a, 103, 105

Information

Pimelea spectabilis is truly defined by its flower. The flower consists of an outer halo of mostly white flowers circling an inner white cluster with a deep pink centre. The clusters may be 50 mm or more in diameter, the largest of all Pimeleas. It is a small shrub with an erect smooth branching stem and an open textured crown with narrow flat leaves that are pointy and quite prickly.

The genus Pimelea, commonly known as Rice Flowers, are generally difficult to germinate from seed but some success has been achieved through treatment with smoke or smoked water. Cuttings are successful but care needs to be exercised in removing leaves from the lower parts of the cuttings as tearing of the thin bark of the stems is likely if leaves are stripped off.

Pimelea spectabilis is endemic to South-West Western Australia, particularly found along the Swan River. Because of its natural habitat in a dry summer climate, P. spectabilis has proven to be difficult to maintain in cultivation in areas with humid, wet summers.

Due to the difficulties in cultivating the Pimelea spectabilis in more humid climates, all of the P. spectabilis in the collection at Mount Annan have been grafted onto rootstock of another Western Australian species P. ferruginea. Pimelea ferruginea has been used as a root stock because despite its natural habitat in a dry summer climate, it has been successfully cultivated in more humid areas. It will grow in a range of soil types as long as the drainage is reasonable.

Pimelea spectabilis likes a sunny to part shade position in the garden and prefers soil with good drainage.