Boronia serrulata

Native Rose, Rose Boronia

Family: Rutaceae

Boronia serrulata is a shrub growing usually to about 1.5 m tall.

It grows in moist heath in sandy situations, chiefly in a coastal band in the Sydney district; within a radius of about 50 km of Sydney from Gosford to the Royal National Park, where it is found growing in semi-shade amongst outcrops of Hawkesbury sandstone in dry sclerophyll woodland and heath.

Leaves crowded and sessile along the stems, strongly aromatic, broad-obovate to elliptic, to about 2 cm long, 1 cm wide, margins finely toothed.

Inflorescences produced at the terminals, 1–4-flowered; Flowers are bright-pink, 4-petaled and about 2 cm across. Quite conspicuous.

Fruit is a splitting capsule made up of cocci. which splits apart into individual segments.

It is frost hardy, will tolerate heavy shade to almost full sun,

In the garden

Makes an excellent specimen plant and performs well as a cut flower.

Has very fragrant flowers and is a useful feature plant but may be short lived.

In a garden situation B. serrulata should be grown in well-drained soil, in a raised rockery. Some authorities suggest placing some sandstone rocks placed around the root zone to give the plant a cool root run.

Boronias are notoriously difficult to grow but much desired. A tip is to grow the ones local to your area.

Leaf-eating caterpillars and root rot sometimes affect this species.


Propagation is by semi-hardwood cuttings taken in early summer.

Other information

Seed germinates well after bushfires

Boronia…. after Francesco 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!
serrulata – from the Latin, serra, meaning a cutting saw, a reference to the fine serrations on the leaves.

Not considered to be at risk in the wild.

By Jeff Howes