Pomaderris intermedia

Golden Pomaderris, Lemon Dogwood

Family: Rhamnaceae

A shrub to 3 m tall, spreading to 1-2 metres wide. The stems have scattered to clustered simple hairs. 

It has a somewhat similar geographic distribution to P. ferruginea; occurring mainly on the south and southern, as well as central, coast and tablelands subdivisions of NSW, extending from the Victorian border, to a line between Kandos and Singleton (just moving into the central western slopes here). However, it continues north in scattered records along the north coast and coastal inland, to Gibraltar Range National Park (west-north-west of Grafton). In Victoria, it is found, again somewhat similarly, in the eastern half, from the far eastern corner to Traralgon and further south-west and north-west to the outskirts of Melbourne. A difference for this species (from P. ferruginea) is it is found in Tasmania and the islands of Bass Strait; along the north and east coasts of Tasmania and around Hobart and Launceston with some disjunct records elsewhere. 

It is a threatened species in Tasmania only. 

It occurs mainly in dry sclerophyll woodland and forest on enriched sandy to clay soils. 

Pomaderris spp. have simple and alternate leaves. In this species the leaves are to 12 cm long and to 5 cm wide, elliptic to ovate, with the upper surface hairless and dark green; lower surface virtually white due to dense short hairs with 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, flowers are yellow, produced in corymbose-heads at the terminals, with entire corymbs to 10 cm across; each flower is only about 4 mm across with petals present; produced mainly in spring. 

The fruit of Pomaderris is a capsule. In this species, they are about 5 mm long, covered in stellate (star-shaped) hairs with some longer simple hairs; producing seeds about 1 mm long.

In the garden

This species is known to be cultivated successfully and can be grown if plants can be sourced. Check with local native nurseries for availability.

It grows well on a well-drained acidic soil in semi-shade to full sun. It can withstand heavy frost and will tolerate dry periods once established. 

It can be fertilised to encourage better growth and flowering. It is relatively quick growing. 

Pomaderris, generally, are not 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

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. 

intermediaLatin – “intermediate” referring to its similarity between two other species, namely P. andromedifolia and P. elliptica.

This species is not considered to be at risk of extinction in the wild in New South Wales and Victoria. It is listed as threatened with extinction in Tasmania where its status is “rare”. 

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

Australian National Herbarium – Pomaderris intermedia profile page https://www.anbg.gov.au/gnp/interns-2005/pomaderris-intermedia.html

Plants of South Eastern New South Wales (LUCID Online Plant website/app) Pomaderris intermedia: https://apps.lucidcentral.org/plants_se_nsw/text/entities/pomaderris_intermedia.htm

By Dan Clarke and Jeff Howes.