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Crowea exalata.jpg
Crowea exalata
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Sapindales
Family: Rutaceae
Subfamily: Rutoideae
Genus: Crowea
Type species
not designated

See text

Crowea is a genus of small evergreen shrubs in the plant family Rutaceae sometimes known as Waxflowers. There are three species and many subspecies and cultivars, all of which are popular as ornamentals because of their abundant, attractive flowers which often occur during autumn and winter. Crowea species are all endemic to Australia, where they occur in Victoria, New South Wales and Western Australia.[1][2]


Croweas are evergreen shrubs to about 1.5 m tall. The leaves are simple, glabrous and, as with other members of the Rutaceae, have oil glands and are aromatic.[3] The flowers occur singly in the axils of the leaves, are pink and star-shaped have five petals, five sepals and ten stamens in two rings around the ovary. Crowea are closely related, and the flowers similar in appearance to those of other member of the Rutaceae family, especially Philotheca, Eriostemon and Boronia.[1]

Taxonomy and naming[edit]

The genus was described and named by James Edward Smith in 1798[4] and was named "to honour James Crowe esq., F.L.S. of Lakenham, near Norwich, who died Jan 16, 1807 aged 56. This gentleman was extremely well versed in the botany of Britain, more especially in the genus Salix, to which he paid particular attention, having collected and cultivated all the species he could possibly procure. The specific name of the original species, Crowea saligna alludes to Mr. Crowe's merits in this department".[5]

The three species are as follows:[6]

Propagation and cultivation[edit]

Croweas are hardy in cultivation, moderately tolerant of frost, growing best in a well-drained mulch in partial shade. Propagation is easiest from cuttings.[7]


  1. ^ a b McCarthy, Norm. "The Adaptable and Rewarding Crowea". Retrieved 15 January 2015.  External link in |website= (help)
  2. ^ "Growing Native Plants - Crowea exalata". Australian National Botanic Gardens. 1973. Retrieved 15 January 2015. 
  3. ^ "Flora of Australia online - rutaceae". Australian National Botanic Gardens. Retrieved 15 January 2015. 
  4. ^ "Tropicos - Crowea (Sm)". Missouri Botanical Garden. Retrieved 15 January 2015. 
  5. ^ Wilkes, John. Encyclopaedia Londinensis Volume XX. John Wilkes. p. 264. Retrieved 1 March 2015. 
  6. ^ "Crowea". Australian Plant Name Index (APNI), IBIS database. Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research, Australian Government, Canberra. Retrieved 24 June 2012. 
  7. ^ Wrigley, John W; Fagg, Murray (2013). Australian native plants (6th ed.). Chatswood, N.S.W.: Reed New Holland. ISBN 9781921517150.