02 June 2009

Micromyrtus imbricata - Myrtaceae

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Micromyrtus imbricata - Myrtaceae

A small open shrub of less than a metre (3') in height, with small but very neat circular overlapping foliage, hence the origin of the botanical name 'imbricata' (overlapping). Of more obvious attraction are the terminal flower clusters, which are initially pink in bud, open white, then age to pink. The flowers at the base of the floral cluster bloom first and slowly open on their way up the lengthening stem, thereby providing a prolonged flowering period.

This Micromyrtus species is reasonably common in habitat and locally is found a little inland in an arc to the north, NW and NE of Esperance, growing on granite outcrops and well-drained gravel/clay soils that may have a sand covering. These gravelly soil habitats range spasmodically from coastal to mallee regions, usually supporting shrubby woodland species and not the true inland mallee vegetation that favour a limestone profile; likewise the low well-drained coastal heathland flora prefer the deeper acid (low pH) sandy soils.

Depending on the timing of seasonal rainfall Micromyrtus imbricata can flower from May to November, and as with most shrubby Myrtaceae species, pollination is by insects.