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Hemiandra

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Hemiandra, commonly known as snakebushes, is a genus of plants of the family Lamiaceae, first described in 1810 by Robert Brown.[1] The genus is endemic to Australia (Queensland and Western Australia).[2] The plant received its name of the snakebush due to frequently being used as a groundcover plant for embankments, nature strips, and roundabouts, creating a perfect habitat for snakes shelter. As a groundcover, the plant is also useful for the control of soil erosion and a barrier in heavy traffic areas due to its prickly foliage.[3] The bush has thorns around the stem for protection from predators, but snakes can easily maneuver around them. They are all prostrate to smallish shrubs allied to Westringia. The red, lilac, pink, or white flowers are 2-lipped, the lower lip enlarged and spotted. The stiff, narrow leaves often have prickly tips.

Species

Accepted species include:[4]

  1. Hemiandra coccinea O.H.Sarg. — Western Australia
  2. Hemiandra gardneri O.H.Sarg., red snakebush — Western Australia
  3. Hemiandra incana Bartl. — Western Australia
  4. Hemiandra leiantha Benth. — Western Australia, Queensland
  5. Hemiandra pungens R.Br. — Western Australia
  6. Hemiandra rubriflora O.H.Sarg. — Western Australia
  7. Hemiandra rutilans O.H.Sarg., colourful snakebush — Western Australia but extinct

Cultivation

Hemiandra is between three and six inches tall and twenty to thirty inches wide. Leaves are about twenty millimeters wide and are usually simple lance-shaped with a short sharp point. Hemiandras tend to attract not only snakes, but bees as well. They are tubular flowers with a myriad of pollen and nectar to appeal to bees (Angus). Keeping this in mind, Hemiandras are a phenomenal choice for personal gardens, especially for producing honey. "It’s perfect for pots and hanging baskets and makes for an excellent rockery plant".[5] Hermiandra pungens is the most popular one and is an offspring form of the variety Glabra.[6] This has stems and leaves without hairs and pink flowers and spreads to about one meter diameter. Despite being the most popular variety, seeds are difficult to find although the flower is easy to breed. “Using a related species such as Westringia fruticosa (as has been done with Prostanthera species) may be worth trying to extend the range of cultivation of the species".[6]

They need very well-drained, preferably sandy soil and prefer a sunny spot, although they will tolerate some shade. They prefer drier, temperate zones and need only be watered sparingly. Prune regularly to keep them tidy and to prolong flowering. Propagate from fresh seed or cuttings. They are prone to fungal diseases in humid conditions. Some success has been had by grafting them onto Westringia stock. They can spread from sixty to eighty feet across the ground, normally blooming in Summer but sometimes starting in late Spring depending on temperatures.[5] Hemiandras are flexible in the type of soil they grow in consisting of clay, gravel, loam, and sand. They tend to bloom best in a cool, semi-arid climate, although they tolerate drought and moderate frost. Hemiandras can also handle environments containing heavy water, allowing them to be pipe and drain friendly and can be found poolside.[5] They require minimal watering but bear excessive amounts, although providing too much water and sun can kill the plant. Hemiandras are considered evergreen plants, providing viewers with an abundance of greenery when blooming, rather than having deciduous leaves.[6]

References

  1. ^ "Hemiandra R.Br". ipni.org. International Plant Names Index. Retrieved 2018-11-03.
  2. ^ Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
  3. ^ “Hemiandra Pungens.” Botanic Gardens of South Australia, plantselector.botanicgardens.sa.gov.au/Plants/Details/749.
  4. ^ "Hemiandra". Plants of the World Online. Royal Botanical Gardens Kew. Retrieved 2018-11-03.
  5. ^ a b c Angus. “ Hemiandra Pungens – Snake Plant.” Gardening With Angus, http://www.gardeningwithangus.com.au/hemiandra-pungens-snake-plant/
  6. ^ a b c “Hemiandra Pungens.” Australian Native Plants, www.anpsa.org.au/h-pun.html.
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Hemiandra: Brief Summary

provided by wikipedia EN

Hemiandra, commonly known as snakebushes, is a genus of plants of the family Lamiaceae, first described in 1810 by Robert Brown. The genus is endemic to Australia (Queensland and Western Australia). The plant received its name of the snakebush due to frequently being used as a groundcover plant for embankments, nature strips, and roundabouts, creating a perfect habitat for snakes shelter. As a groundcover, the plant is also useful for the control of soil erosion and a barrier in heavy traffic areas due to its prickly foliage. The bush has thorns around the stem for protection from predators, but snakes can easily maneuver around them. They are all prostrate to smallish shrubs allied to Westringia. The red, lilac, pink, or white flowers are 2-lipped, the lower lip enlarged and spotted. The stiff, narrow leaves often have prickly tips.

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