Darwinia (plant)

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Darwinia leiostyla
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Myrtales
Family: Myrtaceae
Tribe: Chamelaucieae
Genus: Darwinia

See text.

Darwinia taxifolia subsp. macrolaena

Darwinia (syn. Genetyllis DC.) is a genus of about 70 species of evergreen shrubs in the family Myrtaceae, endemic to southeastern and southwestern Australia.[2] The majority are native to southern Western Australia, but a few species occur in South Australia, New South Wales and Victoria. The genus was named in honour of Erasmus Darwin, grandfather of Charles Darwin by Edward Rudge in 1815.[3] They are commonly known as Mountain Bells or simply Bells.

Darwinia leiostyla in the Stirling Range, Western Australia

The species of Darwinia grow to between 20–300 cm high, with many of the smaller species being prostrate. The leaves are opposite in decussate pairs (alternate in some species), simple, small, needle-like to oval, 4–20 mm long and 2–10 mm broad, mostly hard with a leathery texture. The flowers are grouped singly or several together, perfect, 2–30 mm long, with five red, white or greenish petals and ten stamens.

They are difficult to propagate from seed but can be cultivated from cuttings.

Many species in the genus Darwinia are threatened with extinction, being listed as Endangered or Vulnerable on the Australian National List of Threatened Flora. Land clearing and grazing practices have reduced the areas where Darwinia species grow naturally. Recovery is hindered by drought, changed fire regimes and susceptibility to infection by the oomycete Phytophthora cinnamomi which kills the plants.

Natural hybrids are known among darwinias, for example between D. fascicularis and D. glaucophylla where these species occur together.

The species Verticordia verticordina was placed in this genus by George Bentham, but transferred to the current arrangement in 1991.[4]

List of species[edit]

Darwinia oldfieldii[5]


  1. ^ Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Keighery, G.J. (2009). "Six new and rare species of Darwinia (Myrtaceae) from Western Australia" (PDF). Nuytsia. 19 (1): 37–52. Retrieved 2009-07-24. 
  3. ^ Rudge, Edward. 1815. Transactions of the Linnean Society of London 11: 299-300 description in Latin; dedication statement in English
  4. ^ "Verticordia verticordina (F.Muell.) A.S.George". Australian Plant Name Index (APNI), IBIS database. Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research, Australian Government. 
  5. ^ Darwinia oldfieldii FloraBase

External links[edit]