Boronia ledifolia

Showy Boronia, Sydney Boronia, Ledum Boronia

Family: Rutaceae

Naturally found in heath and dry sclerophyll forest, on sandstone and granite soils.

Grows mainly on the coast and central tablelands of NSW with a disjunct population on the Northern Tablelands which may be a different species.

Grows naturally in moist, semi shaded positions with free draining lighter soils. Very showy in sandstone woodlands when in flower. In some seasons, it can be noticed on the sandstone cliffs above the Pacific Highway between Sydney and Gosford.

Leaves can be singular or produced as a pinnate leaf with 3 to 7 leaflets. Leaves have a very strong odour when crushed, that some find unpleasant. Leaves can vary from 4 to 35 mm long.

Flowers are produced in leaf axils, usually on their own or in clusters (cymes). Flowers are very showy, bright pink to mauve with 4 petals in an even cross arrangement. White flowering and multi-petal flowering forms are also found in the wild.

Flowers July–October.

In the garden

A desirable garden plant in flower from late winter, although Boronia generally are notoriously difficult to grow.

This species requires a moist and well drained situation and not allowed to dry out for garden situations.

Tends to be short-lived in cultivation as are most if not all Boronias. Growing life can be extended in pots as environmental factors can be controlled better.

Propagation

Propagation of B. ledifolia from seed is difficult. Propagation from cuttings of current season’s growth can be slow to strike as well, but is an effective method.

Likely regenerates from seed bank after fire.

 

Other information

Boronia – after Fransesco Borone (1769-1794), an 18th century Italian botanist who assisted John Sibthorpe. Allegedly, he died at age 25 due to falling out a window whilst collecting plant material!

ledifolia – from Latin folium, a leaf, and the genus Ledum, a reference to the appearance of the foliage of Ledum.

Not considered to be at risk in the wild.

http://plantnet.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/cgi-bin/NSWfl.pl?page=nswfl&lvl=sp&name=Boronia~ledifolia
http://anpsa.org.au/b-led.html
https://plants.jstor.org/stable/10.5555/al.ap.person.bm000391884

By Jeff Howes