Pomaderris adnata

Sublime Point Pomaderris

Family: Rhamnaceae

A spreading shrub to 2 metres tall, spreading to less than 1 metre, with hairy young stems. 

It is only known from one location – endemic to NSW, above the Illawarra Escarpment, south of Sydney at Sublime Point. 

It grows in heathy-woodland and dry sclerophyll woodland to forest, on Hawkesbury Sandstone and derived skeletal sandy soil.

It is a listed threatened species in the wild. 

Pomaderris spp. have simple and alternate leaves. In this species, leaves are narrowly oval, to 30 mm long and to 8 mm wide, upper surface smooth, under surface furry, and margins curved downwards; mid green in colour.

Pomaderris produce 5-merous bisexual flowers with 5 sepals, petals and stamens and 1 carpel; often with flower petals falling off early or not produced at all; with flowers first clustered in small cymes which are then grouped into terminal panicles or corymbs or heads/clusters.

In this species, flowers are pale yellow, borne in small many-flowered clusters in leaf axils, to about 4 cm long and wide, occurring in spring.

The fruit of Pomaderris is a capsule. In this species, it is stellate hairy and immersed in the hypanthium, releasing shiny black seeds about 1 mm long.  

In the garden

Not a lot, if anything, is known about the cultivation of this species. It is a listed threatened species and therefore cultivation is likely unknown or in low amounts. It may be more widely grown in the future. 

Species of this genus would add benefits to any garden such as attracting different insects with flowers. This species makes a nice-rounded shrub with attractive foliage. It is a very showy plant when large and in full flower. 

Pomaderris, generally, have not being widely cultivated although they have much to offer the native garden as most have attractive foliage and colourful flowers that would make it an asset in any garden. Availability is one problem due mainly to difficulties in propagation. However, some native nurseries frequently have them for sale. At this point in time, several gardeners on Gardening Australia have showcased species of this genus growing successfully and beautifully in their gardens.  

In the garden they require moist, well drained soils in a sunny or lightly shaded position.

They should be grown more often. Shrubs in this genus make a great substitute for exotics such as *Cotoneaster, some *Prunus sp. and other similar exotics.


Propagation can be carried out from seed which germinates well following treatment with boiling water. Seed is shed from the plant when ripe and is difficult to collect.

Cuttings of hardened, current seasons growth can be successful but they are usually very slow to strike and the success rate is usually well below 100%

Other information

This species is killed by fire. It would regenerate from the soil seedbank. Large numbers of seedlings and saplings, of some species, can be seen in some forest and woodland areas after fire. 

Pomaderris is a genus of about 70 to 80 species, found in Australia and New Zealand only. Australia has about 65 native species with 61 species endemic; found in all states except Northern Territory. NSW currently has about 47 species – some of which are species complex. 

Pomaderris – from the Ancient Greek poma (πῶμα) meaning a “covering” or “lid” and derris (δέρρις) (pronounced therris) meaning “leather”, referring to membranous valves which sometimes cover the capsules.

adnatafrom Latin adnatus meaning ‘joined together’, referring to the base of the stamen-filaments which are shortly united with the petal claws. 

This species is listed as threatened with extinction in NSW with the category of Endangered.

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

NSW Office of Environment and Heritage – Threatened Species Profiles – Pomaderris adnata profile https://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/threatenedspeciesapp/profile.aspx?id=10646 

Wikipedia – Pomaderris adnata profile page https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pomaderris_adnata 

By Dan Clarke and Jeff Howes.