Myoporum floribundum

Slender Myoporum

Family: Scrophulariaceae

Myoporum floribundum, the Slender Myoporum, is a rather sparse shrub, reaching a height of 3 metres by about 1 metre wide.

It is somewhat rare in nature, not often found in large numbers, growing mostly in the central coast botanical subdivision of NSW, with records in western Sydney and towards Lake Burragorang. Yet, there is also a large disjunct population, occurring on the NSW / Victorian border-area, between Jindabyne and Gelantipy (along the Barry Way).

It is typically found in dry sclerophyll woodland and forest, often on rocky terrain.

Branches are spreading.

Myoporum spp. have simple and alternate to opposite leaves. In this species, leaves are alternate to opposite, weeping / pendent, to 110 mm long by about 3 mm wide, linear and almost tubular (terete) with entire margins, with a fragrance when crushed and generally dark green in colour.

Myoporum spp. have 5-merous, white to pink flowers, with 4 stamens and 1 carpel; produced solitarily in leaf axils or in clusters of up to 12. In this species, flowers are bright white and very conspicuous, each flower to 7 mm in diameter, produced in groups of 6 to 8 in leaf axils, creating leafy racemes when all clustered together along branches; mainly in spring and summer.

The fruit are fleshy and drupaceaous. In this species, they are very small, to 3 mm long and 3 mm wide, somewhat fleshy.

In the garden

Author’s notes:

We grow this plant in our cold-climate garden (near Armidale, NSW) – where it has reached a height of 2 metres.

It is the ideal plant for inclusion in shrubberies.

A range of insects are attracted to the flowers and these in turn attract insectivorous birds. The image shows a beetle visiting the massed floral display.

This is one native plant that resents pruning. We keep the secateurs away and allow the plants to do their own thing.

Plant on a soil with suitable drainage in part-sun to shade. Plants have proved to be hardy, drought resistant and tolerate frost. The foliage has a rather sour smell when wet.


Myoporum floribundum has proved to be one of the easiest native plants to propagate from cuttings.

Other information

In the 1800s, this species was originally known as Disoon floribundus.

All Myoporums are commonly known as Boobiallas.

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

Myoporum is a genus of about 28 species, distributed from South-East Asia to the Pacific as well as Mauritius and Australia. Australia has about 17 species, 16 of which are endemic. NSW currently has 9 species.

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.

floribundum – Latin – meaning “profusely-flowered” referring to the flowering nature of this species.

This species is not considered to be at risk of extinction in the wild. Yet, it is not often seen.

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

VICFlora – The Flora of Victoria Online – Myoporum floribundum profile page https://vicflora.rbg.vic.gov.au/flora/taxon/0f153292-1dfb-40a9-8d9f-f6d25ba074ba

Gardening with Angus – Myoporum floribundum profile page https://www.gardeningwithangus.com.au/myoporum-floribundum-weeping-myoporum/

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

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