Halgania anagalloides var. Southern (syn: Halgania preissiana)

Family: Boraginaceae

Halgania anagalloides var. Southern is the accepted name for H. preissiana; a shrub growing to 1 metre tall, with a spread to 1 metre. 

It is endemic to the south-west of Western Australia where it grows close to the coast, from east of Cape Arid National Park, west towards Bunbury and Mandurah, and north somewhat-inland to just north of Geraldton. 

It grows on a range of soil types such as sandy, lateritic and granite, in dry sclerophyll shrubland and woodland. 

Halgania spphave simple and alternate leaves, described as ‘ericoid’ which generally means prickly and tough. In this species, they are grey-green, oval in shape, wavy with prickly, toothed margins; to 4 cm long and about 1 cm wide. 

Halgania spp. have purple-violet to blue flowers (rarely white) which are more or less rotate with 5 petals. The stamens are fused together in the centre in a cone-like structure, surrounding a single carpel. Flowers appear to be produced at the stem terminals or upper leaf axils, either solitarily or in umbel-like clusters. In this species, the eye-catching flowers are purple-blue, about 2 cm across. Two or three are carried in terminal or axillary clusters, appearing mainly in September to February, with sporadic blooms at other times.

The fruit of Halgania is a drupe. In this species, the characteristics are not known for the purposes of this profile, but are likely to about 1 cm long and fleshy. 

In the garden

Not a lot of cultivation information is available regarding this species. Some species of Halgania are known to be cultivated, such as H. cyanea.

It is not known how easy it is to grow. It likely needs a well-drained soil and low humidity to thrive. 

Authors’ notes:

Both foliage and flowers are attractive features. Halgania anagalloides var. Southern would be an ideal specimen for native cottage gardens and rockeries.

Check with local native nurseries and online for availability.


Propagate from cuttings.

Other information

Halgania cyanea is the most widely cultivated species of the genus – a species found in NSW. Previously Halgania preissiana was considered to be a variety of H. cyanea.

There are about 20 Halgania species, occurring in all states of Australia. NSW has 3 species. 

Halgania spp. can regenerate form the seedbank after fire but can also exhibit suckering from the bases. 

Halgania named after Emmanuel Halgan (1771-1852) – a French Navy Admiral. It was named after him by French Botanist, Charles Gaudichaud-Beaupré.

anagalloides – Latin – bearing reference to the genus Anagallis – a genus of about 25 species in the Primulaceae family, commonly called Pimpernels.

var. Southern – is just a placeholder name until this taxon is formally described. This variety is regarded as occurring in the south of the geographic range.

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

Esperance Wildflowers – Blog – Halgania anagalloides profile page  http://esperancewildflowers.blogspot.com/2012/01/halgania-anagalloides-blue-bush.html

Western Australia Herbarium: Florabase – The Western Australian Flora – Halgania anagalloides var. Southern profile page                                          https://florabase.dpaw.wa.gov.au/browse/profile/31013

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