Philotheca nodiflora var. lasiocalyx

Blue Waxflower

Family: Rutaceae

A small upright shrub about 50 cm tall by 30–50 cm wide which forms a ground cover. It has fine hairy grey foliage which has a strong aroma when crushed, due to the volatile oils.

This plant has terminal clusters of delicate lilac-blue 5-petaled flowers ageing to purple. They appear in late winter to early spring and are about 10–15 mm in diameter.

It tolerates full sun to part shade in freely draining acidic soil.

It comes from the Esperance district of WA although is not widespread. It is typically found in sandy soil growing in swamp-heathland vegetation.

In the garden

Lightly prune after flowering in late spring to make it much bushier with a prolific number of terminal flowers.

Ideal for containers, rockeries and native garden beds.

It is best suited to areas with a dry summer climate. It is drought and frost tolerant once established.


Propagation from seed is difficult but cuttings usually strike readily from new season’s growth.

Other information

Likely regenerates from seed bank after fire.

Philotheca….meaning “loving receptacle”, possibly referring to the stamens being united into a tube (however, this is no longer a distinguishing characteristic).

nodiflora…. from Latin “nodus”, a knot (in botany taken as indicating a leaf node) and “florus”, to “flower”, referring to the flowers occurring in the leaf nodes or axils.
This variety taxon lasiocalyx refers to the Greek. lasios (hairy) and calyx, meaning “hairy calyx”.

Previously known as Eriostemon nodiflora, but revised in 1998 to Philotheca.

Not known to be at risk in the wild.


By Heather Miles