Crowea saligna

Willow-leaved Crowea

Family: Rutaceae

Crowea saligna is a shrub up 1.5 metres high (usually smaller) and 0.5 metres wide.

The species has a restricted distribution in the Greater Sydney basin, from Woy Woy in the north to Yerrinbool in the south and west to the Blue Mountains. It is typically found in sandstone heaths, shrublands and dry sclerophyll woodlands and forests.

It has elliptic or lance-shaped leaves up to 80 mm long by 20 mm wide which are dotted with oil glands. The foliage has a slight aniseed fragrance.

Flowers are solitary, up to 3 cm across, in leaf axils, 5-petalled and usually range from pale to mid pink in colour. Flowers are usually seen in late summer through to mid-winter.

Fruits are cocci (a type of capsule that splits open).

In the garden

Prefers a well-drained position in sun or semi shade with a moist soils but will tolerate extended dry periods once established. Some forms are more hardy than others.

A very tidy plant and attractive in flower. A good specimen plant.

The author has found they can be hard to establish on planting but, once established, are quite hardy.

Usually pest free.


Cuttings usually strike readily from current season’s growth. Growing from seed will not come true to type.

Other information

Regenerates from seed after fire.

Crowea – Named in honour of James Crowe (1750 – 1807) (by botanist James Edward Smith in 1798), surgeon and botanist and twice Mayor of Norwich

saligna….From Latin salignus, of the willow, referring to supposed similarity of the leaves to the willow genus, Salix.

Not known to be at risk in the wild.


By Jeff Howes