Pomaderris aspera

Hazel Pomaderris

Family: Rhamnaceae

A shrub generally growing to about 5 metres tall, spreading to 3 metres wide. Observations are reported in some habitats, that they can reach over 15 metres with trunks to 30 cm wide. 

It is one of the more widespread species in NSW, growing on the coast and tablelands from the Victorian border, as far west as around Albury, north to around Nundle and Gloucester with some records around Macksville. There are largely disjunct records in Queensland, just east of Lake Wivenhoe and further north-west near Bell. It is common in Victoria, occurring over much of the eastern half of the state and in the south of the western half, extending almost to the South Australian border. It occurs in Tasmania from the east to the west in the general central areas with concentrated records near St Helens, Scamander and St Marys.   

It is reportedly a weed in New Zealand. 

It is found in moist dry sclerophyll forests and woodland, especially along streams and in moist gullies, often on enriched sandy to loam and clay soils. 

Pomaderris spp. have simple and alternate leaves. In this species, leaves are to 20 cm long by 8 cm wide, with margins more or less toothed; elliptic to lanceolate; upper surfaces dark green and strongly wrinkled between the veins and with lower surface white due to dense stellate hairs and some longer rusty hairs. 

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, yellow-green flowers are produced, in loose panicles to 25 cm long by about 10 cm wide; each flower about 3 mm across and without petals; generally in October to November.

The fruit of Pomaderris is a capsule. In this species, they are about 5 mm long, mostly hairless, producing seeds about 1 mm long.

In the garden

This species is known to be cultivated and reported to be hardy. 

It appreciates a cooler climate on enriched soil in some shade but may thrive in more hostile gardens. It is useful under canopy trees and can provide generous foliage. 

Give some water in dry hot times. The bark can take on interesting markings as lichens establish. 

Prune to shape and provide denser foliage. 

Pomaderris spp., 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 can suffer from wet feet and general dieback.

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

First Nations People of Australia used the wood to make pegs for stretching skins

This species has been confused with P apetala, which has stellate hairs on the ovaries and capsules and inflorescences less than 10 cm long. P. apetala is not found in N.S.W.

Pomaderris spp. readily regenerate after fire – through the 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.

aspera – from asper in Latin meaning “with a rough texture” – referring to the stellate hairs on the stems and leaves – providing a sandpaper-like texture. 

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

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

Yarra Ranges Plant Directory – Pomaderris aspera profile page https://www.yarraranges.vic.gov.au/PlantDirectory/Trees/Trees-3-25m/Pomaderris-aspera

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 Dan Clarke and Jeff Howes.