Opercularia diphylla

Family Rubiaceae

Spreading subshrub to 30 cm high, with numerous branches from one short main stem; leaves pungent-smelling. Taproot 4 mm diameter to 3 mm long. Longevity 5–20 years.

Flowers: Purple, October.

Fruit: Compound capsule 2–5 mm diameter with up to 40 seeds, September – January.

Seed: Transversely wrinkled and pitted.

Gallery images: seed, seedling, rootstock, resprout


  • Open woodland habitat.
  • Localised populations in Ironbark woodland at the Australian Botanic Garden.
  • Often heavily grazed by rabbits.
  • Killed by fire.

Ecology of Cumberland Plain Woodland

Opercularia diphylla plant

Opercularia diphylla flower

Opercularia diphylla fruit

Opercularia diphylla seed