Tetratheca thymifolia

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Tetratheca thymifolia
Tetratheca thymifolia 01.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Oxalidales
Family: Elaeocarpaceae
Genus: Tetratheca
Species: T. thymifolia
Binomial name
Tetratheca thymifolia

Tetratheca thymifolia, commonly known as Black-eyed Susan or thyme pink-bells, is a small shrub in the family Elaeocarpaceae found in southeastern Australia.[1]

It was first described by English botanist James Edward Smith in 1804. Its species name is derived from the Latin word folium "leaf" and thymus like thymus.[2] The genus name is derived from the Ancient Greek tetra "four", and theke "sac, box" and relates to the four-celled anthers.[2]

Tetratheca thymifolia grows as a tough-stemmed shrub up to a metre (3 ft) high. Flowering occurs mainly from September to November but individual flowers can be seen at any time of year. The 2.5 cm (1 in) diameter flowers have a strong fragrance on hot days.[2]

The species occurs in southeastern Queensland, through New South Wales and into East Gippsland in eastern Victoria, where it is found in heathland or eucalyptus woodland on sandy soils.[2][3]

Introduced to horticulture in 1824 in England, Tetratheca thymifolia has been cultivated to some degree since. Several forms have been selected for horticulture, including T. 'Bicentennial Belle',[2] which originates from a naturally occurring population near Bega, New South Wales. This form reaches 0.7 m tall by up to 0.9 m wide, and is freely suckering. It was registered with the Australian Cultivar Registration Authority in 1985 by Austraflora Nursery in Montrose, Victoria.[4] It flowers all year, with peaks in spring and autumn., and has larger flowers than the species. Overall, Tetratheca thymifolia does best in well-drained acidic soils in a sunny or semi-shaded aspect, and tolerates light frosts. It is grown in container gardens or rockeries.[2]


  1. ^ "Tetratheca thymifolia". Australian Plant Name Index (APNI), IBIS database. Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research, Australian Government, Canberra. Retrieved 2010-06-14. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Elliot, Rodger W.; Jones, David L.; Blake, Trevor (2010). Encyclopaedia of Australian Plants Suitable for Cultivation: Volume 9 – Sp-Z. Port Melbourne: Lothian Press. pp. 227, 240. ISBN 978-0-7344-0974-4. 
  3. ^ "Tetratheca thymifolia Sm". PlantNET - New South Wales Flora Online. Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust, Sydney Australia. Retrieved 2010-06-14. 
  4. ^ "Tetratheca 'Bicentennial Belle'". Descriptions of Registered Cultivars. Australian Cultivar Registration Authority. Retrieved 2010-06-14.