Gynatrix pulchella (Willd.) Alef.

Hemp Bush

Orsterr. Bot. Z. 12: 35 (1862) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Native

Shrub or small tree to c. 5 m high. Leaves narrowly ovate to lanceolate, 4–10(–15) cm long, 1.5–3(–6) cm wide, margins crenate, surfaces both green, sometimes slightly paler below, glabrous to sparsely (rarely moderately) stellate-pubescent. Calyx c. 2–3 mm long, glabrous or with scattered stellate hairs; petals of male flowers obovate, 4–5 mm long; petals of female flowers oblong, not or barely exceeding calyx. Fruit 6–8 mm diam.; mericarps c. trigonous-ovoid, 4–5 mm long, densely stellate-pubescent; seed c. wide-reniform, 3 mm long, dark brown, smooth and glabrous. Flowers Aug.–Oct.

CVU, EGL, EGU, GipP, Glep, HNF, HSF, NIS, OtP, OtR, SnM, Strz, VAlp, VRiv, VVP, WaP, WPro. Also SA, NSW, Tas. Occasional in riparian forest, streamsides and shaded scrubs in southern and north-eastern Victoria, but apparently absent from the Grampians.

Plants from the far south-west, southern Otway and Strzelecki Ranges and Wilsons Promontory are commonly more pubescent than the near-glabrous forms typical through most of the species' range. These plants are probably referable to Plagianthus pulchellus var. tomentosus (type from Tasmania) but no appropriate combination exists for this taxon in Gynatrix. The degree of hairiness of leaves, calyces etc., is variable and appears to be at least partly under environmental control, suggesting that formal recognition of the variety may not be warranted.

The stems yield copious fine fibre which was used by Koories for string, bags etc.

Source: Walsh, N.G. (1996). Gynatrix. In: Walsh, N.G.; Entwisle, T.J. (eds), Flora of Victoria Vol. 3, Dicotyledons Winteraceae to Myrtaceae. Inkata Press, Melbourne.
Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Rosanae
order Malvales
family Malvaceae
genus Gynatrix
Higher taxa


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

State distribution

Distribution map
Western Australia
Northern Territory
South Australia
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory