Comesperma retusum Labill.

Mountain Milkwort

Nov. Holl. Pl. 2: 23, t. 160 (1806) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Native

Erect slender shrub 30–160 cm high; stems and leaves glabrous, smooth to minutely tuberculate. Leaves elliptic to oblong, 5–15 mm long, 2–4 mm wide, concolorous, flat to slightly concave, obtuse or rounded. Flowers pale pink to magenta, in corymbose racemes; raceme axis 0.3–1 cm long; pedicels 2–7 mm long; sepals free, the outer 3 broad-ovate, 1.5–2 mm long, often purplish, wings obovate, 5–7 mm long, keel yellow-tipped, 1–2 mm shorter than wings, broadly hooded and 3-lobed at apex; upper petals c. oblong, usually shortly exceeding keel, united with it to near midway. Capsule spathulate, c. 1 cm long, truncate or shallowly notched at apex; seeds ellipsoid, c. 2.5 mm long, hairy all over with fine silky hairs 5–10 mm long; raphe not developed. Flowers Nov.–Jan.

CVU, EGL, EGU, GipP, GGr, HFE, HNF, HSF, MonT, NIS, OtP, OtR, SnM, VAlp, VRiv, WaP. Also Qld, NSW, Tas. Fairly common in alps and subalps in wet heathalnds and Sphagnum bogs, with disjunct occurrences at low altitudes (e.g. Grampians, Otways, Mallacoota area); occasionally occurring with C. ericinum in the east.

Source: Walsh, N.G. (1999). Polygalaceae. In: Walsh, N.G.; Entwisle, T.J. (eds), Flora of Victoria Vol. 4, Cornaceae to Asteraceae. Inkata Press, Melbourne.
Updated by: Neville Walsh, 2014-09-09
Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Rosanae
order Fabales
family Polygalaceae
genus Comesperma
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <>. Find Comesperma retusum in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Comesperma retusum in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Victorian Riverina present native
Gippsland Plain present native
Otway Plain present native
Warrnambool Plain present native
Central Victorian Uplands present native
Greater Grampians present native
Northern Inland Slopes present native
East Gippsland Lowlands present native
East Gippsland Uplands present native
Highlands-Southern Fall present native
Highlands-Northern Fall present native
Otway Ranges present native
Monaro Tablelands present native
Highlands-Far East present native
Victorian Alps present native
Snowy Mountains present native

State distribution

Distribution map
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory