Thryptomene calycina

Grampian’s Thryptomene, Grampian’s Heath-myrtle

Family: Myrtaceae

Thryptomene calycina is known as the Grampian’s Thryptomene or Grampian’s Heath-myrtle.

It is a small to medium, rather bushy shrub, growing to 3 metres by about 3 metres wide.

It is naturally found in western Victoria, growing mostly between Horsham and Willaura in Grampians National Park and adjoining lands. It has naturalised east of Melbourne and records in South Australia are also reported to be naturalised.

It is typically found naturally on sandy to rocky soils in heathland and dry sclerophyll shrubby woodlands.

Thryptomene spp. have small simple and opposite leaves, usually in a decussate arrangement (where each pair of leaves is orientated at right angles, off the stem, to the next pair). In this species, small, oblong leaves are 1.5 centimetres long, 0.5 centimetres wide, deep green, aromatic and tightly clustered along the stems.

Thryptomene spp. have 5-merous flowers, similar in appearance to genera such as Micromyrtus and Baeckea. They tend to be produced singularly, or in pairs, in the upper leaf axils and at the stem terminals, in large numbers, to create a heavy-flowering effect. In this species, flowers are 0.5 centimetres across and carried in the leaf bases at the tops of stems in up to groups of 3; bright white in colour. The sepals are similar to the petals and add to the flowers’ overall effect. Blooms are conspicuous, profuse and appear from winter to spring.

The fruit is a very small nutlet, only 1 to 2 mm long.

In the garden

Author’s notes:

Thryptomene calycina is a delightful shrub that has coped satisfactorily with droughts and frosts in our cold climate garden.

The Grampian’s Thryptomene is popular as a cut flower and would be an attractive addition to a native garden bed.

It is a popular plant historically and has ben used to a large extent in the cut-flower trade. A hardy plant in full sun on a well-draining sandy soil. May cope with heavier soils. Pruning after flowers fade will maintain a bushy shape and prolong the life of the plant.


Propagate from cuttings.

Other information

Thryptomene is a genus of around 40 species, endemic to Australia, growing in all Australian states. NSW has only 1 species.

Most species would regenerate from seed after fire. Some suckering from lateral roots may be possible.

Thryptomene – From the Greek, Thryptomeni (θρυπτομένη) meaning ‘crushed’, ‘broken into pieces’ or ‘made small’. This likely refers to the small stature of most plants.

calycina – Latin meaning “with a prominent calyx” – referring to the petal-like sepals of the calyx.

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

VICFlora – The Flora of Victoria Online – Thryptomene calycina profile page https://vicflora.rbg.vic.gov.au/flora/taxon/f1e05cd3-8118-4e30-892f-b896a0b88c00

Wikipedia – Thryptomene calycina profile page            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thryptomene_calycina

Gardening with Angus – Thryptomene calycina profile page https://www.gardeningwithangus.com.au/thyrptomene-calycina-heath-myrtle/

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 Warren and Gloria Sheather. Editing and additional text by Dan Clarke