Pomaderris ledifolia

Sydney Pomaderris

Family: Rhamnaceae

A shrub to 2 metres high, often with a narrow erect habit, spreading to 1 metre wide; sometimes prostrate in some habitats. 

The young stems have short white to grey or rusty hairs.

In NSW, it grows mostly on the south and southern, as well as central, coast and tablelands subdivisions; from virtually the Victorian border (as far west as Kosciuszko NP, south of Jindabyne), northwards along the tablelands / coastal divide and coastal areas, mostly to an area east of Kandos. Some disjunctions have been recorded near Wollar (central western slopes) with another most northern occurrence in Gibraltar Range National Park. In Queensland, there is a single disjunct patch recorded west of, and near Rathdowney. In Victoria, it is limited to the eastern part of the State near Mt Kaye and in Snowy River National Park.

It is listed as being threatened with extinction (endangered) in Victoria.

It is typically found at higher altitudes in rocky sclerophyll woodland. 

Pomaderris spp. have simple and alternate leaves. In this species, leaves are to 25 mm long by 4 mm wide, narrow-elliptic to lanceolate, with mucronate apices, upper surface dark green and hairless and lower surface white due to short dense 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 deep yellow, produced in compact terminal panicles up to 4 cm in diameter (consisting of up to 20 flowers); each flower about 4 mm across with petals present. 

The fruit of Pomaderris is a capsule. In this species, they are about 5 mm long, covered in long appressed silvery hairs, producing seeds about 1 mm long.

In the garden

Not much is known about the cultivation of this species with little information online available. It is certainly a handsome plant with comparatively smaller leaves and deep yellow flowers. Check with native nurseries for availability. 

It likely needs a well-drained soil to thrive, in full sun to part shade. It is likely to be frost hardy, given its natural habitat. 

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

This species is often confused with the small-leaved form of P. andromedifolia subsp. andromedifolia.

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. 

ledifoliaLatin referring to the genus Ledum and folia – “leaves”, a reference to the appearance of the foliage of Ledum spp. – a genus now recognised as part of Rhododendron.

This species is not considered to be at risk of extinction in the wild in NSW or Queensland. It is listed as threatened in Victoria with the category of endangered.  

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

Plants of South Eastern New South Wales (LUCID Plant Identification Online / App) – Pomaderris ledifolia profile page https://apps.lucidcentral.org/plants_se_nsw/text/entities/pomaderris_ledifolia.htm

Nature Mapr – Pomaderris ledifolia page https://canberra.naturemapr.org/species/10840 

By Dan Clarke and Jeff Howes.