Philotheca difformis subsp. difformis

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Native

Threat status:Victoria: endangered (e); listed in Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988

Bushy shrub to about 1 m high. Branchlets with dark, stipule-like excrescences and large oil glands, more or less hairy all over. Leaves fleshy, club-shaped, 3–4 mm long, 1–2 mm wide, apex rounded with a sunken terminal gland, upper surface smooth, lower surface concave with several large glands along the margin. Inflorescences terminal, 1–4-flowered, each pedicel without an obvious peduncle. Flowers 5-merous; sepals deltoid, c. 1 mm long; petals narrow-elliptic, 4–5 mm long, white, hairy inside and out (at least toward the margins), persisting in fruit; anthers not glandular beneath white apiculum; ovary sparsely pilose, carpels free for most of their length. Follicles shortly beaked, c. 5 mm long; seed subreniform, 2.5–4 mm long.  Flowers sporadically through the year.

Gold, GGr, MuM. Also SA, Qld, NSW. Apparently very rare in Victoria, recorded only from the north-west near Ouyen, the northern Grampians, and Bendigo area. In other States, occurring in sandy or rocky sites supporting mallee and dry woodland communities.

Willis (1973) considered P. difformis widespread within Victoria, including it with the more common P. angustifolia. Apart from several older collections, simply labelled ‘Murray River’ (which are questionably Victorian), there are only 6 Victorian collections of P. difformis (and only 4 within the last 80 years). The extent of its distribution in this State requires clarification.

Philotheca difformis can be clearly distinguished from P. angustifolia by the scattered indumentum on young branchlets, the presence of hairs on the outside of petals (at least toward the margins), and the characteristically club-shaped leaves with a sunken terminal gland. 

Source: Bayly, M.J. (1999). Eriostemon. In: Walsh, N.G.; Entwisle, T.J. (eds), Flora of Victoria Vol. 4, Cornaceae to Asteraceae. Inkata Press, Melbourne (as Eriostemon difformis subsp. difformis).
Updated by: Daniel Ohlsen, 2017-06-07
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Distribution map


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <>. Find Philotheca difformis subsp. difformis in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Philotheca difformis subsp. difformis in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Murray Mallee present native
Goldfields present native
Greater Grampians present native

State distribution

Distribution map
South Australia
New South Wales