Bauera rubioides

Dog Rose, River Rose

Family: Cunoniaceae

Bauera rubioides occurs in coastal heaths and forest of New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and Queensland. It grows along the entire coast and tablelands of NSW, usually on sandstone creeklines and heathlands.

It is a small, bushy shrub between to 2 metres high and wide. It has small leaves which are comprised of 3 leaflets, each about 15 mm long, closely attached to the stems. Leaves are arranged in opposite pairs, creating what appears to be a whorl of 6 leaves.

The flowers appear mainly in spring but may often be seen at other times of the year. They are about 12 mm in diameter and occur on slender stalks (pedicels) from the leaf axils.

The flower colour is usually deep to mid pink with a mass of yellow stamens in the centre – white forms are also common.

In the garden

An attractive border plant if pruned, otherwise it likes to scramble all over the place, if ample moisture is available.

Prune after flowering to keep compact.

The author has found that B. rubioides can be short lived unless its specific needs are met. It performs best in moist, well drained soils, in sun or light shade. Grows better in a pot where these variables can be controlled better. In wet years can succumb to root fungus.


Propagation is readily carried out from cuttings, preferably of hardened, current season’s growth.

Other information

Regeneration response to fire unknown but likely has an ability to regenerate from seed.

Bauera…After Ferdinand Bauer (1760-1826), 19th century botanical illustrator who travelled on Matthew Flinders expedition to Australia.

rubioides…resembling the genus Rubia

Two botanical varieties are recognised for this species: var. rubioides and var. microphylla.

This species was an early export to England, the plant appears to have been grown there since 1793 .

Not considered to be at risk in the wild although near threatened in South Australia.


By Jeff Howes