Also known as Queensland Holly or Veiny Graptophyllum, this dainty small shrub to 1.5 m is found naturally in the understorey of our local rainforests.
It has soft, glossy diamond-shaped opposite leaves with toothed margins. The small white tubular flowers arise from the leaf axils and appear throughout the year. They are a magnet for a wide range of beneficial insects, including the Carpenter Bee (pictured), Blue-banded Bee and stingless bees. The flowers are followed by brown capsules that ‘explode’ when ripe. There are occasional small spines in the leaf axils, but this is by no means prickly plant.
This is a hardy, attractive shrub that will tolerate most soils. It grows best in semi shade or shade, but will tolerate full sun. It is a wonderful foliage plant for any sized garden and can be grown successfully in containers.
Specimens can be seen at the Samford EcoCorridor (https://www.facebook.com/EcoCorridor).
Article and photo © Peter Storer