Pimelea physodesCommon name: Qualup Bell
Family: THYMELAEACEAE (50 Genera)
Origin of Scientific Name
Pimelea – Greek pimele = fat, referring to the oily seeds or possibly the fleshy cotyledons.
physodes – Greek physa = bellows or bladder + odes = like, presumably referring to the inflated appearance the overly large bracts give to the flowers (compared to other Pimelea species), though there is some debate about the definition.
A small, erect, open shrub 0.2 to 1.5 m with woody, ascending branches with branchlets often reddish near the flowers. Mid-green, opposite, narrowly elliptic leaves. The small yellow, green and red flowers occur at the end of the branchlets and are mostly concealed by the prominent leafy bracts which are cream to green and pinkish purple. Pimelea physodes is prized as a cut flower.
This species grows in sandy or gravelly locations, often in rocky sites, restricted to the Ravensthorpe-Fitzgerald National Park (southern coast of Western Australia, between Albany and Esperance). Refer to the distribution map for this species in Western Australia via the Department of Environment and Conservation's FloraBase online herbarium.
July to October
This Pimelea has proved difficult to maintain in cultivation when not grafted, and will probably do better as a container plant in well-drained, acidic soil, watered regularly. For best quality flowers, a position protected from full sun is preferred. It is possible to grow from seed treated with smoke or smoke water, but best propagated from young growth to semi-hardwood cuttings. They respond well to pruning, without which they can get quite leggy. Feed with a slow-release, low phosphorous fertiliser.
Read more about the cultivation of this plant, in The Department of Agriculture and Food's 'Farmnotes'.
Pests and Diseases
Susceptible to botrytis which results in leaf-drop.
View In Kings Park
Botanic Garden entry bed and Sand Plain Rare Flora Garden. To help locate these sites, you may download the Western Australian Botanic Garden Guide brochure via our brochures page.
A good plant for attracting nectar-feeding birds into your garden.