Asterolasia species: This rare plant is a member of the Rutaceae family in company with the Correas and exotic citrus. As yet the species has not been awarded a botanical name. The common name is Dungowan Star Bush and refers to the location of the only known population.
The Dungowan Star Bush is one of
Australiaís rarest and most threatened plants. At last count there were only six surviving plants in the wild.
Asterolasia species is an erect shrub that may reach a height of two metres. Leaves are almost oblong in shape that taper into the petiole. The upper surface is green and the lower surface is paler green to fawn.
The solitary flowers are carried in leaf axils, white in colour and appear in October. Foliage and flowers are similar in appearance to Correa alba.
The Dungowan Star Bush occurs in the Tamworth area in the central west of
New South Wales. The exact location must be kept secret because of the rarity of the species.
We were fortunate to be given some cutting material by the Environment Department. A number of growers were given material to see if the species could be propagated from cuttings. We struck one cutting. This plant is now about one metre tall and has flowered profusely twice. A number of cuttings have been propagated from this plant. Some, of these plants, will finish up in our gardens and others will be given to other native plant enthusiasts.
It is imperative that this attractive plant is widely cultivated to ensure that the species does not become extinct. Perhaps the Dungowan Star Bush could be adopted as the floral emblem of the Tamworth Regional Council. The species occurs within the boundary of this Local Government area. Hopefully the population in the wild will be protected.
Propagate from cuttings.