Eremophila densifolia

Dense-leaved Eremophila

Family: Scrophulariaceae

Eremophila densifolia is a mounded shrub reaching a height of potentially over 1 metre but usually seen smaller with some forms being prostrate to groundcovers. It can spread to 1.5 metres.

It is endemic to south-west Western Australia, occurring in an area bounded by Esperance in the east, to Jerramungup in the west, very common around Ravensthorpe, and north to around Jilbadji Nature Reserve.

It is typically found in mallee-shrublands and heathlands on a range of soil types from red sands to rocky soils and clay-loams.

Eremophila spp. mostly have simple and alternate leaves (sometimes opposite or whorled). In this species, leaves are narrow, arranged spirally and closely spaced (hence the species name), linear to lanceolate, to about 20 mm long and 2.5 mm wide, and have serrated margins; colour is variable and may be bright green or grey with a purplish tinge.

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, flowers are tubular, to 12 millimetres long, purple, violet or blue, produced solitarily in leaf axils, forming leafy clusters close to the ends of the branches. What the blooms lack in size they may up for in quantity.

The fruit is dry, ovoid, to about 3 mm long.

In the garden

Eremophila densifolia is a beautiful ground cover that would be an ideal addition to native cottage gardens and rockeries.

It is known to be cultivated and does well in a sunny spot on well-draining soils. It is known to flower when it is a small plant. Can be used as a groundcover or spreading low shrub.

Each branch wears a necklace of flowers from late autumn to summer. Flowers and foliage are attractive features.


Propagate from cuttings that produce roots rapidly.

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.

densifolia – The species was named in 1861 from material collected at Stokes Inlet on the south coast of WA.

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

Western Australian Herbarium. Florabase—the Western Australian Flora – Eremophila densifolia profile page https://florabase.dbca.wa.gov.au/browse/profile/7196

Wikipedia – Eremophila densifolia profile page            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eremophila_densifolia


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