Goodenia ovata

Hop Goodenia

Family: Goodeniaceae

A clumping shrub, often with many thin stems forming a basal clump, to 2 metres tall and wide.

It has a large natural distribution in NSW, occurring commonly on the coast, from the Victorian border to about Port Macquarie, but then continuing along the coastal hinterland / tablelands into Queensland. It is found on the central and southern tablelands, as well scattered through the western slopes regions, extending out on the south western and far western plains. In Queensland, it extends northwards to about Maryborough. It runs through Victoria, mostly found in the southern half of the State and extends into South Australia, north to Mt Lindhurst and west to Port Lincoln and Kangaroo island.

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, which is a woody shrub, the leaves are glossy green, ovate in shape with a toothed margin, to 8 cm long and 4 cm wide, on petioles to 3 cm long, mid to dark green.

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 uneven petals. In this species, the flowers are bright yellow, solitary and held in the leaf axils, on pedicels to 4 cm long; each flower to about 20 mm across; and are conspicuous against the foliage. Flowering extends from October to March with some flowers carried at other times.

The fruit is a capsule. In this species, it is cylindrical, to 12 mm long, with 2 valves, releasing seeds about 2 mm long.

In the garden

Author’s notes: Goodenia ovata is a cheerful plant with its bright golden flowers. Scattering specimens throughout the garden will bring a spring feel to your domestic landscape throughout the year.

The upright forms tend to become a trifle straggly so pruning is appreciated. The ground covering form could be tip pruned to increase the foliage density.

It is known to be propagated and sold at some nurseries.

Hugh Stacy: It will grow in most soils with good drainage and prefers part shade.


G. ovata is one of the easiest native plants to propagate from cuttings.

Other information

An upright form of this species was introduced into England in 1793. The Hop Goodenia comes in a number of guises. There are also ground covering forms. One is known as “Gold Cover”.

This species would be prone to fire in the wild and likely regenerates from seed.

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 – named after Samuel Goodenough (1743-1827) – Anglican Bishop of Carlisle and amateur botanical collector. He was one of the founders of the Linnean Society.

ovata – Latin – referring to the ovate leaves of the species (generally egg-shaped).

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

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

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) – Goodenia ovata profile page https://anpsa.org.au/plant_profiles/goodenia-ovata

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