Hibbertia aspera

Rough Guinea Flower

Family: Dilleniaceae

Hibbertia aspera is usually a bushy small shrub, growing to about 60 cm high by 50 cm wide. It can become a scrambling-vine type shrub if allowed to climb and also forms a good groundcover.

It is found mainly in coastal NSW, extending just into the tablelands regions (central and northern; as far west as Armidale and the upper Blue Mountains). It grows through southern Victoria and as far north as Cairns-region in Queensland. It occus only near Port Lincoln in South Australia as well as Kangaroo Island. It is also found on Flinders Island and Tasmania.

It typically grows in dry sclerophyll woodlands and forests as well as heathlands, typically on sandy soils.

The stems of this species have stellate (star-shaped) hairs.

Hibbertia have simple leaves which are alternate for the vast majority of species. In this species, leaves are obovate to oblanceolate, to 20 mm long and 7 mm wide, with dense stellate hairs, producing a rough-ish texture, mid to light green in colour.

Hibbertia have bright yellow 5-petaled flowers which are mostly produced solitarily, either at the terminals of leaf axils. In this species, yellow flowers are about 1 cm across, produced in leaf axils,  with spring and early summer the main flowering period. Flowers are small but what they lack in size they make up for in quantity.

Hibbertia produce fruit as follicles. In this species, they are about 1 cm long, ripening to red-brown.

In the garden

This is reportedly one of the easier hibbertia species to grow. It usually establishes well and is hardy once established. Prefers a well-drained soil with good drainage. Useful for rockeries and beds that require groundcover.

Can be pruned lightly after flowering. Grow in full to part sun.

Author’s notes:

More by good luck that management we planted a specimen near one of the supports of our patio roof together with Clematis and Pandorea climbers. The Rough Guinea Flower took advantage of the situation and using the other plants for support became a dense climber that becomes a blaze of colour during the lengthy flowering period. H. aspera, together with the other climbers, is providing safe nesting sites for native birds.


Propagate from root suckers or stem cuttings.

Other information

The Hibbertias or Guinea Flowers are common throughout the Australian bush. There are about 115 species and 110 of these are endemic. They are one of the most notoriously taxonomically difficult groups in Australia, with many similar species and many new ones being discovered in recent times. NSW currently has about 68 species with a fair few of these having subspecies and considered to be species-complex. Around 5 shrub-species, all considered threatened with extinction, have been found in the Sydney area over the last 30 years.

They have colourful yellow flowers but unfortunately not many species are in cultivation.

Hibbertia – named after George Hibbert (1757-1837) – an English merchant, politician, slave-owner and amateur botanist who took a keen interest in botanical discoveries and gardening.

aspera – Latin meaning “rough” – referring to the stellate hairs of the plant which create a rough texture.

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

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

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

Burringbar Rainforest Nursery – Hibbertia aspera sales page https://burringbarrainforestnursery.com.au/plant-search/hibbertia-aspera-rough-guinea-flower/

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