Zieria laevigata: is a member of the Rutaceae family in company with the Boronias, Correas and exotic citrus.
Zieria laevigata is an open shrub with a height of one metre and a width of 50 centimetres. The leaves are trifoliate (in threes) with dark green, linear leaflets and up to four centimetres long. They have a strong aroma when crushed. The smell has been likened to the odour left by male felines.
In spring, plants become covered in pink or white, four-petalled flowers. Although small the blooms are prolific.
Zieria laevigata is a widespread species that is found on the coast and tablelands of New South Wales as well as Queensland. The species grows in sandstone or granite outcrops. The specimen illustrated was growing in the Torrington State Conservation area, northern New South Wales.
Zieria laevigata could be grown as a foreground plant in native garden beds. Occasional tip pruning will keep plants dense and shapely.
An interesting historical note: Zieria laevigata was named by Aimé Bonpland (1773-1858). During his long career, Bonpland managed Josephine and Napoleon’s garden, Malmaison near Paris. Plants were collected from all over the world for the garden including species from Australia. Bonpland named a number of Australian plants grown in the Malmaison collection including Zieria laevigata. Material must have been collected in Australia, shipped to Malmaison and propagated. Acacia subulata and Eucalyptus diversifolia were also named by Bonpland from material collected in Australia and grown in the Malmaison garden.
Propagate Zieria laevigata from cuttings.