Alyogyne huegelii a medium shrub reaching a height of about two metres with a similar spread.
It is a species occurring only in Western and South Australia; in Western Australia – to about 200 km east of Esperance, including Middle Island, extending west to the coast and then northwards to just south of Dirk Hartog Island. In South Australia, it grows close to the coast, from Streaky Bay, to Port Lincoln and around to Port Augusta, extending south to Adelaide. It is likely the disjunct South Australian populations are a different species.
It is typically found in coastal and near-coastal shrublands and heathlands, on sandy soil.
Alyogyne spp. have simple and alternate leaves. In this species, the attractive leaves are hairy, with three to five lobes and dull green in colour, to 5 cm long and about 5 cm wide, green on both surfaces, generally orbicular to palmate in shape, on petioles to 3 cm long.
Alyogyne tend to produce solitary flowers in leaf axils. In this species, the flowers are large (to 12 cm in diameter), deep purple and hibiscus-shaped, and borne solitarily in the leaf axils. There are forms with white, yellow and pink flowers. A double-flowered form is also available. The main flowering period is from late spring to summer with sporadic blooming at other times. The flowers open in the morning and usually last one day. Even so shrubs are capable of producing hundreds of blooms per season.
The fruit is a five-celled capsule, which is hairy and rounded.
A very beautiful shrub to grow and it is popular in cultivation with native plant enthusiasts.
Foliage, on the lower limbs, tends to become a trifle sparse if left unpruned. After the main flowering flush in summer, plants may be pruned back quite hard. A desirable characteristic is the shrub’s ability to send out vigorous, fast-growing shoots from old wood. This allows plants to be kept to small compact shrubs if required.
The flowers are very showy (over 10 cm wide!) and are very useful for attracting butterflies and other insects.
Give a well-drained soil in full sun to part-shade. Allow an open space for it to be admired and reach its potential.
Lloyd Hedges of Australian Plants Society – Menai frequently propagates and sells this species.
Propagation is rapid and usually easy from cuttings.
There is a cross between A. huegelii and A. hakeifolia (see profile). This hybrid appears to be less vigorous than A. huegelii.
There is at least one cultivar of this species known as ‘West Coast Gem’ (see resources below).
This species likely regenerates from seed following fire.
Alyogyne is a genus of 4 species – occurring in Western Australia, Northern Territory, South Australia and Queensland.
Alyogyne – from the Greek alytos (άλυτος) meaning “not-broken” or “not-divided” and –gyne from the Greek for “female” – referring to the undivided styles of the flowers.
huegelii – named in honour of Baron Karl von Huegel (1795 – 1870), a German naturalist who collected plants in Australia in 1833 and 1834.
This species is not considered to be at risk of extinction in the wild.
Western Australian Herbarium – Florabase – the Flora of Western Australia – Alyogyne huegelii profile page https://florabase.dpaw.wa.gov.au/browse/profile/4906
Australian National Herbarium – Alyogyne huegelii profile page https://www.anbg.gov.au/gnp/gnp6/aly-hueg.html
Gardening with Angus – Alyogyne huegelii ‘West Coast Gem’ profile page https://www.gardeningwithangus.com.au/alyogyne-huegelii-west-coast-gem-native-hibiscus/
Wrigley, J.W. & Fagg, M.I. (2001). Australian Native Plants – Propagation, cultivation and use in landscaping. 4th edition. New Holland Publishers, Pty. Ltd. Australia.