Lysiosepalum involucratum

Family: Malvaceae

A small rounded shrub that grows potentially to about 1 metre high, with a spread to one metre wide. It has stellate hairs on most parts. 

It is endemic to the south-west of Western Australia, growing from north of Albany, east to Ravensthorpe and north to around Narembeen. 

They grow on naturally on sandy and gravelly soils, in open heathland and shrubland, as well as dry sclerophyll woodland.

Lysiosepalum spp. have simple and alternate leaves. In this species, leaves are rough and narrow, to 25 mm long and grey-green in colour., linear to narrow-lanceolate in shape. 

Lysiosepalum spp. produce 5-petaled flowers, either solitarily, or in small-numbered clusters, usually at the terminals beyond the foliage. In some species, the flower petals are absent or vestigial and the sepals have taken over this role.  This species produces masses of pink to mauve cup-shaped flowers, from late winter to spring. The petals are very small and it is the sepals that provide the colourful parts of the flowers, with flowers about 15 mm across. 

The fruit is a capsule with stellate hairs, very small in this species. 

In the garden

Author’s notes:

I have been growing Lysiosepalum involucratum for many years, in my garden in the northern Sydney suburb of Westleigh

Lysiosepalum involucratum is an under-rated plant and one that should be grown in every garden. However, you need to go to a specialist native plant nursery to buy them as they are rarely available in general nurseries.

The only maintenance I undertake is to lightly prune after flowering to keep them compact and promote better flowering next season.

They are quite hardy when grown in temperate areas of the eastern states, provided they have reasonable drainage and a full sun or partly shaded position. 

My plants are growing in a thin layer of topsoil over a clay sub soil and receive little additional watering as they will tolerate extended dry conditions once established.


Can be propagated from cuttings and/or seed.

Other information

This species likely regenerated form seed after fire.

Lysiosepalum is a genus of 4 species, all endemic to Western Australia.

LysiosepalumFrom Greek lysios (λύσις) meaning ‘loosening’ or ‘coming apart’ and Latinsepalum, referring to sepals, referring to the calyx lobes being dissected.

involucratum from Latin involucrum, a whorl of bracts that surrounds a flower head, with the suffix –atus, meaning ‘possessive of’ – referring to the bracteoles surrounding the flowers.

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

Western Australian Herbarium: Florabase – The Western Australian Flora  https://florabase.dpaw.wa.gov.au/browse/profile/5049

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

ABC Gardening Australia – Video – Winter Wonder – features Lysiosepalum involucratum https://www.abc.net.au/gardening/how-to/winter-wonders/10065560

By Jeff Howes. Editing and additional text by Dan Clarke.