Eremophila bignoniiflora

Creek Wilga / Bignonia Emu Bush / Eurah

Family: Scrophulariaceae

Eremophila bignoniiflora is spreading, weeping shrub that may reach a height of 5 metres by almost the same width. The branches are smooth and sticky.

It is a species inhabiting inland arid areas, occurring from the western parts of the north-western slopes in NSW (west from about Warialda), out to the north-western and far north-western plains, as well as the south western plains. It occurs over much of Queensland, extending across the entire state in some areas (Rockhampton-latitude), as far north as Karumba on the Gulf of Capentaria; found over the central parts of the Northern Territory and eastern to central parts of South Australia (as far west a snear Coober Pedy). It occurs in the north of Wesertn Australia and only in the very north-west of Victoria.

It occurs commonly on floodplains in dry sclerophyll woodland and arid shrublands, often on sandy-loams to sandy soils and alluvium.

Eremophila spp. mostly have simple and alternate leaves (sometimes opposite or whorled). In this species, leaves are light green, linear to lanceolate, to 20 cm long and 1.5 cm wide; hairless with margins entire or rarely with teeth.

Eremophila spp. have 5-merous flowers with the 5 petals usually fused into a tube (tubulate to campanulate) with 5 petal-lobes (often described as 2-lipped with 3 upper lobes and 2 lower), occurring in small-numbered clusters per leaf axil. Flowers are often curved. In this species, the flowers are large, tubular and usually cream with purple spots in the throat; to 40 mm long, and produced solitarily in leaf axils. Some plants have pale to deep pink blooms and the flowers of this species are considered amongst the largest in the genus. The flowering period extends from winter to spring with sporadic flowering at other times.

The fruit of Eremophila is either a dry or fleshy capsule which splits open into segments. In this species, it is ovoid to 20 mm long and 15 mm wide, somewhat fleshy and green.

In the garden

A plant that is known to be cultivated.

It grows well in low-humidity areas on a well-draining soil in a sunny location. It can be grown successfully in humid and temperate areas and will tolerate frosts. Ensure full sun in all locations.

Judicious pruning will maintain the graceful weeping habit and prevent plants becoming straggly.

The wood of the species is said to be fragrant, cross grained, hard and will take a high polish if worked.


Propagate from cuttings. We have found that the majority of eremophilas strike readily from cuttings. Propagation from seed is reportedly very challenging

Other information

Eremophila can regenerate from the seedbank after fire with some plants able to reshoot from stem buds as well as sucker from basal areas.

Eremophila is a substantial Australian genus of around 220 species with, likely, many undescribed species. Most species are found in Western Australia and other Australian arid zones. They occur in all states except Tasmania. NSW currently has 21 species with some subspecies taxa.

See our 2023 study group article on this genus:              https://resources.austplants.com.au/stories/why-do-eremophila-have-resin/

Eremophila – from Greek Erimos (ερημος) meaning “desert” and –philos (φίλος) referring to “friend” or “beloved” – referring to the mostly desert habitats of these plants.

bignoniiflora – Latin – having flowers resembling those of Bignonia (in the Bignoniaceae family which includes Pandorea and the exotic *Jacaranda). The species was named by Baron von Mueller in 1859 from material collected along and near Coopers Creek, South Australia.

This species is not considered to be at risk of extinction in the wild.

NSW Flora Online (PlantNET) – Eremophila bignoniiflora profile page https://plantnet.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/cgi-bin/NSWfl.pl?page=nswfl&lvl=sp&name=Eremophila~bignoniiflora

Wrigley, J.W. & Fagg, M.I. (2001). Australian Native Plants – Propagation, cultivation and use in landscaping. 4th edition. New Holland Publishers, Pty. Ltd. Australia.

Australian Native Plants Society Australia (ANPSA) – Eremophila bignoniiflora profile page https://anpsa.org.au/plant_profiles/eremophila-bignoniflora/

By Warren and Gloria Sheather. Editing and additional text by Dan Clarke