Leionema lamprophyllum syn. Phebalium lamprophyllum

Shiny Phebalium

Family: Rutaceae

Leionema lamprophyllum syn. Phebalium lamprophyllum is a large shrub that grows on heathland on exposed ridges at higher altitudes in New South Wales, ACT and Victoria.

Leaves are shiny dark green, elliptic to broad-obovate to circular, to about 1 cm long and 4 mm wide, smooth and glossy above.  It has small white flowers, produced singularly in the leaf axils. The petals are about 4 mm long, white with pink tips on outside. Flowers are produced in winter to spring.

It prefers well drained, slightly acid soils with some protection from full sun, but not heavy shade. Grows without additional watering except in dry conditions.

Three subspecies are recognised:
L. lamprophyllum subsp. lamprophyllum
L. lamprophyllum subsp. obovatum
L. lamprophyllum subsp. orbiculare
two of which occur in NSW.


In the garden

A hardy plant that performs well in cultivation and grows well in a wide range of conditions. The author has grown it in dappled shade successfully.

It has low fertiliser requirements and forms a  great screen or background plant that can be readily pruned to any shape.

It deserves a place in every garden and the flowers attract bees and insects. It has no known problems. 


From cuttings.

Other information

Leionema: Gk. (λέίονήμά) meaning smooth thread, referring to the staminal filaments
lamprophyllum: Gk. (λαμπερό φύλλο) meaning bright leaf, referring to the glossy nature of leaves.


By Jeff Howes