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Myoporum betcheanum

Family: Scrophulariaceae

Myoporum betcheanum is a tall shrub or small tree that may reach a height of eight metres.

Leaves are linear, up to six centimetres long and one centimetre wide. They are toothed and taper to a point.

The flowers are white and 5 millimetres across. From one to eight flowers are carried in leaf axils between December and May. Globular fruits are white or brown and translucent.

Myoporum betcheanum occurs on the North Coast of New South Wales and south-eastern Queensland.

This species is found on the margins of wet sclerophyll forests and rainforests. Our specimens have proved to be frost hardy.

All Myoporums are commonly known as Boobiallas.

In the garden

In our cold climate garden, we keep specimens pruned to a manageable height of about three metres.

Myoporum bateae is a similar species that flowers just before M. betcheanum. Both Boobiallas could be could be cultivated together as a long-flowering screen or hedge.

Propagation

As with all Myoporums this species propagates readily and rapidly from cuttings.

Other information

Fire response is generally unknown. It may be killed by fire and regenerates from the seedbank. 

Myoporum – reported to be from Ancient Greek myein – meaning “to shut one’s eyes or mouth” (the root of myopia and myopic) and porous (πόρους) – meaning pores – referring to the pores or stomates on the leaves appearing closed. 

betcheanum – named in Honour of Daniel Ludwig Ernst Betche (1851-1913), a German-born horticulturalist who became a botanist, travelling the Pacific and ending up in Australia as a collector for the Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney.

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

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

Atlas of Living Australia – Myoporum betcheanum profile page https://bie.ala.org.au/species/https://id.biodiversity.org.au/node/apni/2890154

By Warren and Gloria Sheather