Common name: Tall Mulla Mulla


Ptilotus exaltatus in bloom. Photo: D. Blumer.View image slideshow

Origin of Scientific Name

Ptilotus – (Greek) ptilotos – winged, particularly soft-winged, whether membranous or feathered.

exaltatus – (Latin) raised up, tall, referring to the flower spikes.


Ptilotus exaltatus, an erect annual herb, is one of the largest of the Mulla Mullas. It is widespread throughout the arid and semi-arid regions of Australia including Western Australia, where it occurs in all areas except the Nullarbor Plain above a line drawn from Perth to Esperance.

The Tall Mulla Mulla grows to 1.2 metres with leathery green foliage. Highly attractive purple flowers in dense, conical heads up to ten cm in size appear from April to November in its natural habitat.

A cultivar of this species is produced commercially as Ptilotus exaltatus ‘Joey’ and looks amazing as a container plant or complements other natives in a larger garden bed.

Horticultural tips

  • Propagate from seed, without any pre-treatment.
  • Seed best sown in November and grown as a summer annual.
  • Established plants require an open position in full sun with excellent drainage.

For more horticultural tips view our Plant Notes section.

View in Kings Park

Visit Kings Park and Botanic Garden to see Ptilotus exaltatus in the garden beds at the entry to the Western Australian Botanic Garden and on the floral mound opposite Aspects of Kings Park gallery shop (refer to map).

Want more information?

Refer to the profile for this plant on the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions' FloraBase online herbarium.

Tall Mulla Mulla in Kings Park. Photo: D. Blumer.Mulla Mulla flowers. Photo: M. Seale.

Kings Park access disruption

Part of the Western Path between Monash Avenue and Aberdare Road will be closed from Monday, 8 February 2021 due to construction works on The Kids’ Bridge, pedestrian detours will be in place.

DNA Tower closure

The DNA Tower in Kings Park will be closed from Monday, 8 February 2021 until late May 2021 due to maintenance.

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Happy retirement to Luke Sweedman

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