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  1. 90 Victorian Christmas Bush
  2. 260_victorian_christmas_bush_prostanthera_lasianthos_-_rbg_melb_-_credit_to_rachel_maitland Empty seed pods by Rachel Maitland
  3. 053_victorian_christmas_bush_-_by_nuytsia_tas_on_flickr_shrub Full flowering by Nuytsia@Tas on Flickr

Victorian Christmas Bush

Prostanthera lasianthos

Appearance

  • Evergreen shrub or small tree.
  • Size: 1 – 6 m high.
  • Leaves: bright yellow-green to dark green and paler underneath. They are 4 – 15 cm long, 1 – 3 cm wide, and generally have a toothed or curved edge.
  • Flowers: funnel-shaped and white, or pink to pale mauve, with purple and orange spots inside. They are about 2 cm long and grow in clusters at the end of branches. They are slightly scented.
  • Fruit/seed: known as a mericarp, it is 2 mm long and contains one seed which is about 1mm long. 

What to Observe

  • First fully open single flower
  • Full flowering (record all days)
  • End of flowering (when 95% of the flowers have faded)
  • Seeds dropped to the ground (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.

When To Look

  • From late spring through summer.
  • Flowers appear from November to March.
  • Fruit appears after flowering. 

Where To Look

  • In coastal and sub-alpine areas, from southern Queensland to Tasmania.
  • In rainforests, forests and woodlands, commonly along watercourses and in moist gullies. It is also found in urban areas, particularly in gardens.

Victorian Christmas Bush Occurrence Map ALA

References

Australian Biological Resources Study 1982. Flora of Australia Volume 31. CSIRO Publishing / Australian Biological Resources Study.

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.

Links

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  1. What Else?

    Another Prostanthera species (“mint bush”): won’t have fine hairs on the inside and outside of the flowers, which can be seen with a magnifier on the Victorian Christmas Bush.

  1. Did You Know?

    The leaves have a minty smell when crushed.

    It is known by Indigenous Australians as Coranderrk (Wurrundjeri) and its flower stems were used as fire sticks.