Syn. Pl. 1: 174 (1805)
Prostrate, decumbent or erect shrub to c. 70 cm high; branchlets finely pubescent. Leaves spreading or erect, linear to oblanceolate, 5–18 mm long, 0.6–3 mm wide, mucronate, flat to convex, glabrous or scabridulous, lower surface usually paler; margins sparsely denticulate-ciliolate. Flowers solitary or rarely 2 or 3 close together; bracts, bracteoles and sepals ± mucronate; bracts 0.5–2.4 mm long; bracteoles 2.5–3.5 mm long; sepals ovate to ovate-oblong, 4.2–7 mm long; corolla red; tube cylindric, 7–12 mm long, constricted at base and/or apex, inside with 5 tufts of hairs, or rarely, a complete ring of hairs toward base, glabrous or sparsely hairy above; lobes narrowly triangular, 2.5–5.3 mm long, acute-mucronate, densely bearded inside except at tip; anthers ± exserted from corolla tube, style 5–15 mm long. Fruit spherical to ellipsoid, 5–10 mm long, green when ripe but often tinged or becoming completely dark purple. Flowers Jan.–Jul.
Brid, CVU, DunT, EGL, EGU, GipP, Glep, Gold, GGr, HFE, HNF, HSF, LoM, MonT, MuM, NIS, OtP, OtR, Strz, VAlp, VRiv, VVP, WaP, WPro, Wim. Also SA, NSW, Tas. Common and widespread, from near-coastal to inland areas, particularly in heathy to grassy woodland and open-forest.
A perplexingly variable species with respect to habit, leaf shape and colour, and size of floral parts. Prostrate plants occur throughout the species' range and often have narrow leaves to 1.4 mm wide, but broader-leaved variants with leaves to 3 mm wide occur sporadically particularly in and near the Grampians. Erect plants occur occasionally in drier regions, and in some areas (e.g. Grampians, Little Desert), erect and mat-forming plants can be found growing together with no intermediates with respect to habit. However, no reliable vegetative or floral characters have been found to support the recognition of segregate taxa.
|Bioregion||Occurrence status||Establishment means|
|Victorian Volcanic Plain||present||native|
|Central Victorian Uplands||present||native|
|Northern Inland Slopes||present||native|
|East Gippsland Lowlands||present||native|
|East Gippsland Uplands||present||native|