Eremophila laanii

Family: Scrophulariaceae

Eremophila laanii is a medium to tall shrub that may reach a height of 4 metres.

It is endemic to Western Australia, found on the western coast and inland areas north of Perth, from north of Binnu, extending north-east to north of Woolgorong, around Murchison and towards Gascoyne River. There are records as far north as Carnarvon.

It is found in mallee-shrubland and heathland, often on floodplains and riverbanks on sandy soils.

Eremophila spp. mostly have simple and alternate leaves (sometimes opposite or whorled). In this species, leaves are alternate to spiral, with a succulent feel and are narrow, linear to elliptic in shape, to 40 mm long and about 7 mm wide, flat with a pointed tip, deep green to green-blue in colour.

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 white, cream or pink to deep pink, to 40 mm long, produced singularly in the leaf axils; conspicious and extremely profuse during the flowering period which extends from August to January. Sporadic flowering may occur at other times.

The fruit is woody and dry, ovoid, to 10 mm long.

In the garden

E. laanii could be grown to screen out fences and other structures in the garden. It can be cultivated in a range of climatic conditions, on a well-drained soil in full sun.

Author’s notes: This colourful emu bush is happy growing in well-drained situation but will also cope with runoff and overflow from a water tank. Honeyeaters are attracted to the blooms.

Occasional pruning is both appreciated and necessary to prevent plants becoming straggly. The white-flowered form may respond to pruning by suckering.


Propagate from cuttings.

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. This species is known for its suckering.

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.

laanii no online information can be found on this but reportedly named after Dr. van der Laan, a 19th-century physician. The type was collected on the upper reaches of the Murchison River, near Mt. Hale, WA. The species was named in 1884 by Baron von Mueller. The lower image is the original drawing by von Mueller.

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

Western Australian Herbarium. Florabase—the Western Australian Flora – Eremophila laanii profile page https://florabase.dbca.wa.gov.au/browse/profile.php/7227

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

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