Dampiera purpurea is widespread in open eucalypt woodland in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland in eastern Australia.
It is a small perennial suckering shrub that reaches 1 to 1.5 metres high and can spread to 2 metres across. It has erect angular woody stems that are sparsely branched and densely hairy. Leaves are 1–6 cm long, 0.5–2.5 cm wide.
Flowers are 2.5 cm across, pale purple to dark purple with a light yellow centre, appearing in spring and summer.
It is quite hardy in a garden situation and is its best in sandy free draining soils where it will sucker freely. It prefers low humidity, is frost tolerant and will grow in spotted shade to full sun.
It is not as reliable in heavy loam/clay soils. The author has tried many times unsuccessfully.
It is pollinated by insects such as butterflies and bees.
It responds readily after fire, from seed and suckering.
Dampiera – after William Dampier (1652-1715), an explorer/buccaneer who collected the first Australian plants.
purpurea – from the Latin for purple
It is threatened in Victoria but of no concern elsewhere.