Mountain Mirbelia

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Description

Common names

Mountain Mirbelia, Sandstone Bushpea.

Scientific names

Mirbelia oxylobioides.

Family

Fabaceae.

Genus

Mirbelia.

Name origin

Mirbelia, after Charles Francois Brisseau de Mirbel (1776-1854), French botanist. Oxylobioide, from genus Oxylobium and oides, like, referring to similarity to Oxylobium.

Rainfall

900mm+.

Growth rate

Moderate.

Growth height

Up to 1.5m.

Presence in Australia

Noted east of the Hume Highway in the higher rainfall areas Coppabella; Rosewood Plateau; Bringenbrong-Khancoban; Greenhills-Tarcutta and Upper Gilmore.

This specie has been identified in the following Australian states: NSW, ACT, Vic, Tas.

Habitat

Dry sclerophyll forest, chiefly at higher altitudes.

Habit

Spreading or erect open-branched shrub to 1.5m high, with small leaves 2-10 mm long.

Site preference

Well-drained soil in semi-shade. Tolerates drought and frost.

Characteristics

Moderate growth rate.

Flowering

Bright orange-yellow with dark red, late spring - early summer.

Seed collection

Early to late Dec. Monitor closely as seeds shed immediately or within 1-2 days of maturity.

Propagation

From scarified seed, or cuttings of firm young growth (rooting hormones should improve strike rate). Pour boiling or very hot water over seeds and soak until water cools. Dry to prevent rotting and sow. Germination takes 3-4 weeks. Suitable for direct seeding in pots (2-3 seeds per pot).

Shade and shelter

Useful low-level cover in windbreaks. Important component of understorey.

Land protection

Legume - improves soil fertility through "fixing" nitrogen.

Wildlife

Flowers are a nectar source for native wasps, bees and butterflies.

Ornamental

Very attractive for gardens. Lightly prune regularly to promote bushiness.

Additional information

Growth Height

1.5