Eremophila (plant)

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Eremophila maculata flowers.jpg
Eremophila maculata
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Lamiales
Family: Scrophulariaceae[1]
Tribe: Myoporeae[1]
Genus: Eremophila

See text.

Eremophila glabra 'Murchison Magic'

Eremophila is a genus of plants of the family Scrophulariaceae.[1] Species may be known by the common names emu bush, poverty bush, and fuchsia bush. Currently, there are about 215 recognised species, all of which are endemic to Australia. One species, Eremophila debilis, occurs in New Zealand, but it is thought to be naturalised there.[2]


The size and habit of Eremophila species varies greatly, but they can be readily identified by their flowers, which have corollas with two upper lobes and three lower lobes. As the flower ages, the corolla falls off and the calyx enlarges and becomes coloured as the fruit enlarges.[3]


Eremophila subfloccoa

Species include:


The genus was first formally described in 1810 by the botanist Robert Brown in Prodromus Florae Novae Hollandiae.[4] Eremophila is derived from the Greek words eremos (desert) and phileo (love), alluding to the species' adaptation to arid environments.[5]


Eremophila includes entomophilous species, with flowers adapted to attract insects, and ornithophilous species, with flowers that attract birds. Entomophilous flowers have protruding lower lips, which provide a landing area for insects, and they are often blue, purple, or white. Bird-adapted flowers are red, orange, yellow, or green, and have lobes pointing downwards to discourage insects. They also tend to have longer stamens, which brush pollen on birds' heads as they feed.[3]

The fruits are eaten by emus, which disperse the seeds in their droppings.[3]


The genus is distributed across Australia, primarily in arid regions, with the most species occurring in Western Australia.


  1. ^ a b c "Genus: Eremophila R. Br.". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Beltsville Area. 
  2. ^ Chinnock, R. J. (2007). Eremophila and Allied Genera: A Monograph of the Plant Family. Rosenberg Publishing. ISBN 1-877058-16-5. 
  3. ^ a b c Moore, P. (2005). Plants of Inland Australia. Reed New Holland. ISBN 187633486X. 
  4. ^ a b "Eremophila R.Br.". Australian Plant Name Index (APNI), IBIS database. Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research, Australian Government. 
  5. ^ Eremophila alternifolia. Australian Native Plants Society (Australia)

External links[edit]

Media related to Eremophila at Wikimedia Commons