Goodenia decurrens

Family: Goodeniaceae

Goodenia decurrens is a small erect shrub to 0.8 metres high, with a narrow spread and with multiple thin flowering stems, placed well-above the leaves.

It occurs naturally only in NSW, in the central coast, tablelands and central western slopes subdivisions, from about Lake Burragorang and Campbelltown-area, north through the Blue Mountains and Wisemans Ferry-areas, in disjunct recordings to south of Merriwa in the Hunter Valley.

It is typically found in dry sclerophyll woodland and forest on sandstone.

Goodenia spp. have simple and alternate leaves with some more-herbaceous species producing a basal rosette of leaves and then secondary leaves on flowering stems (known as cauline leaves). In this species, the leaves are between 5 and 10 centimetres long, to 3 cm wide, lanceolate with conspicously toothed margins, mid to light-green in colour.

Goodenia spp. have 5-merous bisexual flowers, produced in leafy thryses (technically solitary), racemes or spikes, or umbels, usually always yellow or white but sometimes mauve, purple-blue or pink. The flowers have 5 petals, not all even. In this species, the profuse bright yellow flowers are about two centimetres across and are carried in racemes of thryses on scapes (elevated bare stems) to about 80 cm long, during the warmer months with sporadic flowering at other times.

The fruit of Goodenia is a capsule. In this species, it is about 1 cm long.

In the garden

Not a lot of information is available regarding the cultivation of this species. However, it is known to be grown (here and overseas). It makes a nice display, especially when planted en masse and would add to any cottage garden them. It may be short-lived in some situations. It grows naturally on a sandy soil, often near rocks, so likely needs good drainage to thrive.

Author’s notes:

G. decurrens prefers well drained sites and, in our cold climate garden, is a blaze of colour during spring and summer. Pruning is necessary, after flowering, to keep plants from becoming straggly.

Many years ago, on a trip through the Hunter Valley, central NSW, we found some very dishevelled specimens growing along a roadside. Cuttings were taken and now G. decurrens is a prominent feature in our cold climate garden.


Cuttings strike rapidly from cuttings.

Other information

There are 170 Goodenia species with only three occurring outside Australia, in countries such as The Phillipines, Indonesia and New Guinea. Australia has 169 species, occurring in all states. New South Wales currently has 37 species.

Goodenia spp. likely regenerate from seed after fire.

Goodenia – named in honour of Samuel Goodenough (1743-1827), Bishop of Carlisle and an amateur botanist and collector.

decurrens – Latin referrring to decurrent – the manner in which the elongated leaf petioles of this species continue to run down the stem, often forming ridges.

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

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

Plants of South East New South Wales – Goodenia decurrens profile page   https://apps.lucidcentral.org/plants_se_nsw/text/entities/goodenia_decurrens.htm

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