Zieria smithii (RUTACEAE) Sandfly Zieria, Smithian Zieria, Dr Smith’s Zieria

Plants to Plant

Erect robust shrub to 2 m, branches slightly ridged when young, warted, more or less hairless to stellate-tomentose (star hairs) older branches hairless. Widespread on the coast and ranges. Leaves with central leaflet narrow elliptic, oblong or lanceolate, to 45 mm long and up to 7 mm wide, apex acute. Leaf margins entire perhaps slightly undulating, possibly recurved, upper surface darker, dotted with oil glands. Venation evident, especially on lower surface. Petiole 10-20 mm long. Flowering parts shorter than the leaves. Petals 2-4 mm long, usually white, hairy. The flowers have both male and female organs. The plant prefers moist, light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils, does not grow in the shade. Host plant for the Orchard Swallowtail butterfly Papilio aegeus.

Photo: Robert Whyte