Alyogyne huegelii

Location: In the gardens behind the 7th and 17th greens.

Distribution: South West of Western Australia and coastal South Australia
Height: 2.5 metres

There are 40 species in Australia. A huegelii is native to the South West of Western Australia and coastal South Australia. The cultivar is called West Coast Gem. This long flowering perennial shrub grows to a height of 2.5 metres, and may have a similar width. It performs well in a wide range of soil types and climatic conditions, but prefers a sunny position and well-drained soil. Prune the Australian Native Hibiscus after Spring to encourage new growth. It is best propagated by half hardened 8cm long tip cuttings.

The name Alyogyne is derived from the Greek: Alyo, undivided and gyne, woman. This refers to the plant having an undivided style. Heugelii refers to Baron Karl von Heugel 1796 – 1870. He was a German naturalist who collected extensively in Australia.

Pollen from the anthers which reside at the tips of the slender filaments, the stamens, is transferred by birds, insects or the wind to the often sweetly sticky tip of the style which is called the stigma. Stigmas ensure the adhesion of only the correct pollen species. Desiccated pollen grains germinate in the stigma and then each grows a tube down the hollow style to the ovary where fertilisation of the ovules takes place. Stigmas vary greatly in size and shape from the “silk” of a corn cob to the feathery centre of a crocus.

“Friendship is a sheltering tree” (Samuel Taylor Coleridge)