Hibbertia vestita

Hairy Guinea Flower

Family: Dilleniaceae

A prostrate shrub, growing to about 30 cm tall with stems to about 50 cm or more long.

It is common in NSW with a disjunct and spread-out distribution. It is found commonly along the North Coast of NSW – very close to the coast, north from around Wyong. Then, it is found inland on the northern tablelands and western slopes, from north of Glen Innes, south and west to Baradine and south to near Albury. There are no records shown for Victoria. It extends into Queensland, up the coast and inland, generally to around Rockhampton, as well as on the sandstone plateau of the Blackdown Tableland west of Rockhampton.

It is found in coastal heathland and shrubland as well as inland dry sclerophyll woodlands.

Hibbertia have simple leaves which are alternate for the vast majority of species. In this species, leaves are oblong to lanceolate, to 7 mm long and 2 mm wide, with villous hairs or glabrous and with obtuse apices.

Hibbertia have bright yellow 5-petaled flowers which are mostly produced solitarily, either at the terminals of leaf axils. In this species, they are produced solitarily at the terminals, about 20 mm across, with around 30 stamens and 3 carpels.

The fruit is a follicle, to about 1 cm long and 5 mm wide in this species.

In the garden

Author’s notes:

This species is known to be cultivated successfully.

I have had a liking for yellow flowers ever since I saw the flowers of Senna artemisioides. After seeing the bright yellow flowers on Hibbertia vestita, it became a ‘must have’ plant. I obtained plants from Westleigh Native Plants and have had a few of them growing for about five years in my northern Sydney suburban garden.

They flower best when they receive almost full sun; however my plants still flower well with less sun than that. Hibbertia vestita is a fairly long-lived species, adaptable to most situations as long as the soil has good drainage. It appreciates the extra bit of water during dry times.

Best planted on a well-drained soil in full sun to part shade.


Likely best propagated from cuttings.

Other information

Hibbertias are commonly known as Guinea Flowers and this name refers to the resemblance of the flower shape and colour to the ancient Golden Guinea coin.

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.

vestita – from Latin vestio, ‘clothed’ or ‘dressed’, a reference to the hairy stems and foliage.

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

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

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) – Hibbertia vestita profile page https://anpsa.org.au/plant_profiles/hibbertia-vestita


By Jeff Howes. Editing and additional text by Dan Clarke