Pomaderris mediora

Family: Rhamnaceae

A shrub growing from 1 to 3 metres tall, erect to sometimes sprawling or procumbent.

It has a limited natural distribution in NSW, found in 3 general areas on the central coast botanical subdivision, just north of Bulli (Sublime Point), then northwards with some disjunction, in northern Sydney from Forestville to Palm Beach, then with one record just north of Port Stephens at Carrington.

It is found in heathland and shrubland on higher ridges and headlands and also at the boundaries of rainforest and dry sclerophyll woodland / shrubland – mainly on Hawkesbury Sandstone or sandy soils and sometimes shale soils. 

Pomaderris spp. have simple and alternate leaves. In this species, leaves are narrow-elliptic to oblanceolate, to 20 mm long and 5 mm wide with margins strongly recurved, with upper surfaces glabrous and mid to dark green; lower surfaces appearing grey to yellow-rusty due to dense short, white and longer yellow 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 cream / white, in short axillary cymes which overall form leafy panicles; each flower about 3 mm across with petals absent; produced in early spring. 

The fruit of Pomaderris is a capsule. In this species, they are about 3 mm long, covered in hairs, producing seeds about 2 mm long.

In the garden

There is scant information available on the cultivation success of this species. This is likely due to its rarity and relatively recent description. It may be grown more widely in the future. Check with native nurseries for availability. 

It tends to be found on rocky sandstone ridges and so may need similar garden conditions to thrive – either in full sun or part shade. 

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

The type locality for this species is the headland north of Turimetta Beach (A small northern Sydney un-patrolled beach).

This species was fairly recently described in 1997. 

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. 

mediorais derived from Latin medius meaning “middle” and ora meaning “coast” – referring to the species’ distribution within the Central Coast botanical subdivision of New South Wales.

This species has not yet been listed as threatened with extinction in the wild, despite its rare nature. 

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

Wikipedia – Pomaderris mediora profile page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pomaderris_mediora

By Dan Clarke and Jeff Howes.