Westringia 'Glabra Cadabra'


Family: Lamiaceae

Westringia ‘Glabra Cadabra’ will develop into a dense shrub about 1.5 metres high by the same width.

It is a hybrid whose parents are said to be Westringia fruticosa and a form of Westringia glabra.

Westringia spp. have simple and opposite or whorled leaves, usually in whorls of 3 to 5. In this cultivar, they are in whorls of 4, to about 20 mm long by about 4 mm wide, non-aromatic, green to grey-green in colour.

Flowers have a shape described as labiate (applies to all Lamiaceae flowers) with 5 petals varying in their size, fused at their base, produced in leaf axils. One of the identification features which separates Westringia from Prostanthera is that the 5 calyx parts (basal whorl of the flower) are separated into 5 parts, whereas they are fused into 2 ‘lips’ in Prostanthera. Flowers are typically solitary but clustered heavily in leaf axils, appearing as leafy racemes. In this cultivar, flowers are violet, to about 1.5 cm by 1.5 cm wide, carried in leafy racemes for many months.

The fruit of Westringia are small mericarps or ‘nutlets’. A cluster of 4 is produced at the base of each flower after pollination. They are only 1 to 2 mm long. It is not known if this hybrid-cultivar produces fruit.

In the garden

Light pruning will keep plants dense and encourage flowering.

In our cold climate garden, specimens are seldom without flowers. Our plants have proved to be hardy, free flowering and resistant to drought and frost. Both foliage and flowers are attractive features.

Established plants have very low water requirements. Plant in a full-sun to semi-shaded area on well-draining soil for best results.

Westringia ‘Glabra Cadabra’ could be grown in low, informal hedges together with other Westringias. A combination of this hybrid with Westringia ‘Wynyabbie Gem’ would create a dense and long flowering hedge.


All cultivars must be propagated by cuttings to retain ‘true-to-type’ form.

Other information

There are about 25 species of Westringia, endemic to Australia, occurring in all states and territories except the Northern Territory. NSW currently has 15 species. There are many cultivars.

Most Westringia spp. regenerate from seed after fire. They can possibly sucker from basal stem-root zones.

Westringia – named after Johan Peter Westring (1753-1833), an 18th century Swedish physician who administered to the King of Sweden and was a botanical authority on lichens.

‘Glabra Cadabra’ – a variation of the magical phrase ‘Abracadabra’ but capturing W. glabra which is reportedly one of the parents.

Gardening with Angus – Westringinia ‘Glabra Cadabra’ profile page https://www.gardeningwithangus.com.au/westringia-glabra-cadabra-coastal-rosemary/

Touch of Class Plants – Westringinia ‘Glabra Cadabra’ profile page https://www.touchofclassplants.com.au/products/westringia-glabra-cadabra

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