Botanic Gardens Trust, Sydney, Australia

Home




Lambertia formosa

The Australian Botanic Garden, Mount Annan - April

Common name mountain devil, honey flower, honeysuckle
Scientific name Lambertia formosa Smith
Family  Proteaceae
Etymology

Genus: After Aylmer Lambert, an 18-19th century botanist.

Species: From Latin, formosus, beautiful, referring to the appearance of the flowers.

Distribution Commonly found along the coast of New South Wales from Grafton south to Jervis Bay and in the tablelands from the Blue Mountains south to the Budawang Range.
Native habitat In heathland and open eucalypt forests, in sandy or stony soils derived from sandstone.
Description

A small to medium shrub, often no more than a metre or so high but sometimes reaching 2 metres.

Flowering/fruiting From winter to spring and also sporadically throughout the year.

Location in Garden

In a number of beds in the Banksia Garden.

 

The mountain devil gets its name from the beaked and two-horned, woody fruit which resembles a little devil. They can be quite ornamental and have been used in arts and crafts.

The spiky leaves provide good protection for small native birds. This relationship is mutually beneficial as the plant relies on birds to pollinate its flowers, which in turn provide nectar year-round. Although the flowers are small and hidden amongst the leaves, they are brightly coloured.

It has been popular in cultivation and will adapt to a wide range of soils and conditions as long as the soil is free-draining. Naturally regenerating after fires, the plant will respond well to pruning or coppicing, providing a good informal hedge and traffic control because of its spiky nature. 

 

 

 

Lambertia formosa