Westringia ‘Poorinda Pavane’ is a spreading shrub that reaches a height of 2 metres in our garden.
It is another cultivar reported to be a hybrid of W. fruticosa and W. glabra. It was created by Mr Leo Hodge in the 1970s, who owned the property, Poorinda, in Victoria and created many Australian cultivars.
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 20 mm long and to 5 mm wide, green to grey-green in colour and white-hairy beneath.
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, the flowers are about 1.5 centimetres across, pale lilac with an orange-dotted white centre. Blooms are both conspicuous and profuse. Peak flowering occurs from September to November. Our plants also carry a few flowers at other times.
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.
This cultivar is readily available online and has proven to be a popular one. Growing requirements can likley be treated the same as for other cultivars such as ‘Glabra Cadabra’ and ‘Wynyabbie Gem’.
Plant in full sun to dappled shade on a well-drained soil for best results.
In our cold climate garden ‘Poorinda Pavane’ has proved to be hardy, fast growing and free flowering. Plants appreciate an occasional light pruning.
The foliage is dense and provides safe nesting sites for small native birds. We purchased the original plant some years ago and since then have not seen this hybrid in nurseries.
All cultivars must be propagated by cuttings to retain ‘true-to-type’ form.
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.
‘Poorinda Pavane’ – named for ‘Poorinda’, the famous property of equally famous plant breeder Leo Hodge. The meaning of ‘Pavane’ is not known.
Australian Native Plants Society Canberra – Westringia ‘Poorinda Pavane’ profile page. https://sunlitplains.com.au/labels/Westringia_2048.html
Mossvale Park – Westringia ‘Poorinda Pavane’ information page. https://www.mossvalepark.com/shop/product/85383/westringia-lsquo-poorinda-pavane-rsquo/?variantId=401808