It grows in heathland and dry eucalyptus woodlands from Lake Conjola on the New South Wales south coast, northwards, mainly along the coast, to Fraser Island in Queensland.
It is usually found in sandstone forest and woodland as well as sandy heath and shrublands. It grows to 2 m tall and 1 m wide.
The leaves are narrow-oblong to narrow-elliptic, 20–80 mm long, 8–14 mm wide, mid to dark green with oil glands. Flowers occur in late winter to early spring. Flowers are pink to white to 4 cm across, produced near the apex of the stems, appearing as very showy with a five-petaled star-shape (very similar to Citrus flowers, the genus to which it is related).
E. australasius is a very desirable plant for the garden but results in cultivation are mixed. It is best grown in a semi shaded position in well drained sandy to sandy loam soils which are not allowed to dry out for extended periods. It will not tolerate waterlogged conditions but is tolerant of at least moderate frosts.
It has no known pests or diseases, but may suffer root rot if drainage is not adequate.
Difficult from seed and cuttings.
The genius Eriostemon has been recently revised and most species have been moved to Philotheca with the result there are two species native to Australia, E. australasius and E. banksii.
Regenerates after fire, likely from seed.
Eriostemon – Erio Gk. (έρίοv) = wool; stemon Gk. = stamens referring to the woolly stamens
australasius – Latin = relating to Australia.
Not considered at risk in the wild.
Robinson, L. (2003). Field Guide to the Native Plants of Sydney. 3rd Edition. Kangaroo Press, Pymble, NSW