Waxflower

Native to Western Australia

As a native to Western Australia and commonly found around the location of Perth, the Waxflower is also known by its botanical name, Chamaelaucium Uncinatum. The genus was first discovered and named by Rene Louiche Desfontaines, a French botanist. The name was thought to have originated from the waxy appearance and feel of the petals. It is connected to the Myrtaceae family, which also includes the myrtle, leptospermum, and eucalyptus. It is part of a small family of plants that has about 21 varieties of evergreen shrubs some of which can grow 12 feet high and are found only in Australia. The leaves appear like pine needles with thin and woody stems.

Currently, there are four hybrid species that have been identified. These include the 'Album' that has white flowers; 'Bundara Excelsior' that features large, pink flowers; 'Purple Pride' that contains reddish-purple flowers; and 'University' with red stems and rose-purple flowers that become full purple in color. They are identified as having many flowers on each branch of the shrub. A Waxflower has four petals that then surround a central cup shape with anthers. The central cup often has the brightest color while the petals are often found to be in a more pastel palate. The Waxflower can be cut, revealing a citrus-like aroma. It is a small filler flower – and often an alternative to Baby’s Breath that can be displayed in an arrangement for about seven to tend days as long as it is kept in a cool and shaded area. It is available from May until December.

Growing Recommendations - Waxflower

The Waxflower is commonly found in heathland areas that contain sand along the coast or are part of granite outcroppings. Some varieties of Waxflower are also found to grow well in semi arid climates. They grow well in sunny areas with soil that offers good drainage. Considered to be a hardy plant, they can survive through frost, draught, and other extreme conditions. However, the Waxflower is vulnerable to fungal infection from Botrytis. The effect is that this fungus tends to eat away at the petals. They are used extensively in garden settings across the southern portion of Australia, but they are commonly sent to the cut flower industry in the United States and Israel. When using a Waxflower in an arrangement, the base of each stem should be re-cut and remain submerged in water while any foliage should be removed. It is sensitive to ethylene.

Photos of Waxflower

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