Adenanthos x cunninghamii

Common name: Woolly Bush


New flowers of Adenanthos x cunninghamii. Photo: D. Blumer.View image slideshow

Origin of Scientific Name

Adenanthos – (Greek) aden: a gland, and anthos: a flower, referring to the prominent nectaries in the flower.
cunninghamii – after Alan Cunningham, 19th century botanist.


Adenanthos x cunninghamii was originally named as a separate species, but following genetic analysis is now recognised as a natural hybrid between Adenanthos sericeus and Adenanthos cuneatus.

Evergreen and with a spreading growth habit, this woolly bush flowers for a long period during spring with small red or pink flowers. This medium shrub grows 1-1.5 m in height and 1-2 m wide, and when in flower provides food for bees, insects and nectar loving birds.

It is endemic to Western Australia and grows well in areas with deep, sandy soils in low woodland, heath or low scrub. The common name of woolly bush derives from the silky soft foliage, which is a highly attractive smoky, grey green.

Horticultural tips

  • Water Adenanthos x cunninghamii until established, after which it is generally drought resistant and can tolerate temperatures up to the low 40s for short periods. May need supplementary watering in long periods of dry weather.
  • Grows well in sunny and part shade exposure and is highly bird attracting.
  • Fertilise with a native slow release fertiliser.
  • Adenanthos x cunninghamii is suitable for planting as a low screen
  • Ideal soft foliaged plant providing a garden sensory experience
  • This plant may only be available at specialist native nurseries.

View in Kings Park

Visit Kings Park to see Adenanthos x cunninghamii growing around Aspects of Kings Park gallery shop and in the Conservation Garden near Forrest Carpark (refer to map).

Want more information?

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

This Woolly Bush flowers for a long period during spring with small red or pink flowers. Photo: D. Blumer. The common name of Woolly Bush derives from the silky soft foliage, which is a highly attractive smoky, grey green. Photo: D. Blumer. New leaf shoots of Adenanthos x cunninghamii are tinted with red to pink. Photo: D. Blumer. Adenanthos x cunninghamii is a medium sized shrub which can be planted as low screen. Photo: D. Blumer.

Naturescape summer opening hours

Rio Tinto Naturescape Kings Park will be open between 8.30 am - 12.30 pm, Tuesdays - Sundays between 29 December 2021 – 30 January 2022 in response to warming Perth summers and an increased frequency of very high fire danger days.

Works at Mount Eliza Reservoir

The Water Corporation will be conducting upgrade works to the Mount Eliza Reservoir inlet in Kings Park from mid-June.

Concert traffic interruptions

Road and carpark closures will occur in Kings Park and Botanic Garden on 11 December 2021 due to a concert event.

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'For People & Plants' Special Issue

Stories of ecosystem restoration success are showcased in the latest Special Issue of the Friends of Kings Park magazine 'For People & Plants'.

Bold Park Draft Management Plan consultation

The Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority is seeking community feedback on the Draft Bold Park Management Plan 2022 - 2027 that will guide park management over the next five years. 

Bushland Ecology programs in Bold Park

Duncraig Senior High School biology students were among the first to take part in new E-STEM conservation programs at the WA Ecology Centre in Bold Park last month.

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