294B-3-Opercularia-varia-fl-Neil-Blair.jpg

Opercularia varia

Variable Stinkweed

Sprawling to semi-erect herb or subshrub, branching from near the base. Branchlets lax, angular and rough.

Additional information

  • FamilyRubiaceae
  • StoreyLower storey
  • Size5-25 cm x 5-30 cm
  • Plant groupingHerbs & Groundcovers <1m
  • LeavesPairs of stalkless, hairy, narrow to egg-shaped pointy leaves 3-18 mm x 1.5-6 mm scattered along stems, margins strongly curved down.
  • Flower colourGreen or purple
  • Flowering timeJune to March
  • FlowersDense hemispherical clusters of 2-7 tiny tubular flowers, terminal and in upper axils.
  • Bird attractingNo
  • Butterfly attractingNo
  • Frog habitatNo
  • Growing conditionsMoist well drained soils in heathy forests. Semi-shade to dappled shade.
  • Garden useLeaves have an unpleasant smell when crushed. Grow under trees amongst grasses and herbs in moist conditions.
  • Commercially availableNever
  • Conservation statusWidespread within the Shire
  • Related speciesOpercularia ovata is smaller than O. varia, densely sprawling with light green glossy oval leaves. It prefers moister soils.
Photographer/s: 1, 2, 4, 5 Marilyn Bull ©; 3 Neil Blair, Royal Botanic Gardens Board ©

Plant Communities

  • 13 Manna Gum Riparian Forest - Upper Yarra (EVC 18)
  • 26 Red Stringybark Grassy Dry Forest - Middle Yarra (EVC 22)
  • 15 Scented Paperbark Riparian Thicket - Middle & Upper Yarra (EVC 59)
  • 27 Red Stringybark Grassy Dry Forest - Dandenongs (EVC 22)
  • 17 Messmate Herb-rich Foothill Forest (EVC 23)
  • 28 Red Box Grassy Dry Forest - Christmas Hills (EVC 22)
  • 18 Messmate Shrubby Foothill Forest - Dandenongs (EVC 45)
  • 29 Green Scentbark Herb-rich Foothill Forest (EVC 23)
  • 19 Long-leaf Box Herb-rich Foothill Forest (EVC 23)
  • 37 Yarra Gum Grassy Woodland (EVC 175)
  • 20 Messmate Lowland Forest (EVC 16)
  • 38 Yellow Box Valley Grassy Forest – Middle Yarra (EVC 47)
  • 21 Broad-leaf Peppermint Heathy Dry Forest (EVC 20)
  • 40 Snow Gum Grassy Woodland (EVC 175/37)
  • 22 Silver-leaf Stringybark Heathy Woodland (EVC 48)
  • 42 Yellow Box Valley Grassy Forest - Christmas Hills (EVC 47)
  • 25 Long-leaf Box Grassy Dry Forest - Southern Dandenongs (EVC 22)
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