Pomaderris lanigera

Woolly Pomaderris

Family: Rhamnaceae

A large shrub (potentially a small tree) growing to 5 metres tall, with a canopy spreading to 3 metres wide. 

It has a widespread natural geographic range, growing commonly on the south coast of NSW (from the Victorian border) north through some of the southern tablelands, through the central coast and eastern central tablelands, as far west as the north-western slopes (Pilliga Scrub), and northward through the north coast and northern tablelands to the Queensland border. In Queensland, it extends northwards to around Rockhampton and west to just east of Tambo. In Victoria, it is found in the general eastern half of the State, from the eastern corner to Melbourne, north to Mount Buffalo National Park and south to Port Philip Bay and French Island. 

It is typically found in dry sclerophyll forest and woodland, often on sandy to sandy-shale soils. 

Pomaderris spp. have simple and alternate leaves. In this species, leaves are to mostly 8 cm long and to 3 cm wide, lanceolate to ovate or elliptic; upper surface is dull green with dense simple erect hairs; lower surface with white hairs and longer rusty curly 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 golden-yellow, in corymbose-panicles supported by long sections of bare branch with panicles up to 15 cm long by 10 cm wide; flowers are about 4 mm across and petals are present. 

The fruit of Pomaderris is a capsule. In this species, they are about 5 mm long, covered in short stellate hairs with some longer grey hairs, producing seeds about 1 mm long.

In the garden

This specimen is known to be cultivated successfully (see resources below). It is a very nice plant in any garden, especially with its golden-yellow flowers. It is very useful as a gap filler with other shrubs and forms a very versatile midstorey species. It is also used in natural area restoration.

It is a highly recommended native plant and is best planted on a well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Prune to create denser foliage and for more spectacular flowering. 

Pomaderris, generally, are nor 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. 

lanigerafrom the Latin, meaning “woolly” – referring to the hairs on the stems. 

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

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

Yarra Ranges Council – Local Plant Directory – Pomaderris lanigera profile page https://www.yarraranges.vic.gov.au/PlantDirectory/Shrubs/Shurbs-1.5-10-metres/Pomaderris-lanigera 

Mallee Design – Native Garden Design and Consultation – Woolly Pomaderris should be seen more often: Pomaderris lanigera. https://malleedesign.com.au/woolly-pomaderris-lanigera/ 

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.