Euphrasia collina ssp. collina

Purple Eyebright

Upright hairless perennial herb or sub-shrub, branching well above ground level. Semi-parasitic, swellings on rootlets often connecting to other plants. Four of the many subspecies do, or did, occur locally.

Additional information

  • FamilyOrobanchaceae (syn. Scropulariaceae)
  • StoreyLower storey
  • Size20-80 cm x 20-50 cm
  • Plant groupingHerbs & Groundcovers <1m
  • LeavesLeaves paired, narrow, upper leaves 4.5-16.5 mm x 1.5-4.4 mm, usually 1 pair of teeth, sometimes 2, at the end.
  • Flower colourWhite, purple, blue or pink
  • Flowering timeAugust to February
  • FlowersTerminal spike-like flowerhead of 2-lipped flowers, tips of upper lobes curved back, yellow blotch behind lowest lobe. Lower lobes hairy on back, notched on tips. Calyx 4 lobed, hairless.
  • Bird attractingNo
  • Butterfly attractingNo
  • Frog habitatNo
  • Growing conditionsMoist well drained soil in open forests and heathy woodland. Full sun, semi shade. Limited distribution, this species may have disappeared from the Shire.
  • Garden useA delightful little plant which is difficult to propagate and cultivate.
  • Commercially availableNever
  • Conservation statusSignificant within the Shire. Known from very few local sites, probably disappeared from most of these. Collected in 1986. Scattered in Victoria.
  • Related speciesEuphrasia collina ssp. paludosa - reported from the Dandenongs and probably locally extinct. Differs from ssp. collina in that leaves are larger 5.5-23 mm x 2.4-8 mm with 1-3 pairs of teeth (but up to 6 pairs) either at the end or along the length of the leaf. Lower floral lobes blunt or straight. Branches develop from ground level. Occurred in moist areas of wet forest.
Photographer/s: 1, Ken Harris ©; 2 David Francis, NatureShare ©; 3 Richard Hartland ©

Plant Communities

  • 04 Alpine Ash Montane Wet Forest (EVC 39)
  • 18 Messmate Shrubby Foothill Forest - Dandenongs (EVC 45)
  • 22 Silver-leaf Stringybark Heathy Woodland (EVC 48)
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