Bearded Heath, Small-leaved White Beard
Leucopogon microphyllus var. microphyllus
- A bushy or spreading shrub.
- Size: up to 1 m high.
- Leaves: 2 – 7 mm long and 1 – 2.5 mm wide. Its blades are hairy with curved-up upper surfaces. Its lower surfaces have parallel veins and its leafstalks are around 0.5 mm long.
- Flowers: white with five petals, hairy in appearance, 5 – 11 mm long and usually clustered at the ends of side branches. They have dark-tipped sepals (under the petals) which are 2 – 3 mm in length and hairless, and there are dense hairy “beards” inside the floral tubes.
- Fruit/seed: oblong fruits which are 1.2 -1.5 mm long, slightly ridged and hairless.
What to Observe
- First fully open single flower
- Full flowering (record all days)
- End of flowering (when 95% of the flowers have faded)
- Open seed pods / fruits (record all days)
ClimateWatch Science Advisor
We expect plants to start shooting and flowering earlier in the year as a result of climate change warming the Earth. They may also start appearing in new areas, as warmer temperatures enable them to live in environments that were previously too cold for them. Help scientists answer the question: "How are our animals, plants and ecosystems responding to climate change?".
When To Look
- From late winter through spring
- Flowers mainly appear from August to October but can sporadically appear throughout the year
- Fruits appear after flowers
Note: ClimateWatch is looking for any changes in the timing of these events so remember to keep a lookout from July!
Where To Look
- In heath, scrub and dry forest, on sandy or rocky soils.
- From the Tinderry Mountains (inland from Batemans Bay) in New South Wales and the Canberra district, north and into Queensland.
- Look in heathlands around Sydney, particularly on the coast.
Note: ClimateWatch is looking for any changes outside of their known ranges so remember to keep a lookout beyond these regions!
Morley BD & Toelken HR (eds) 1983. Flowering Plants of Australia. Rigby, Adelaide.
Walther G, Post E, Convey P, Menzel A, Parmesan C, Beebee TJC, Fromentin J, Hoegh-Guldberg O, and Bairlein F 2002. Ecological responses to recent climate change. Nature 416: 389–395.
Leucopogon microphyllus var. pilibundus: its leaves and sepals are hairy (hairless in var. microphyllus).
Did You Know?
The genus to which it belongs, Leucopogon, was named for its tiny white 5-petalled flowers, which have a dense, hairy “beard” inside the floral tube.
Its leaves are the smallest of the local species, hence its species and variant name, microphyllus.