Australian Native Plants

  Hemiandra pungens (Snakebush)

Hemiandra pungens photo
Hemiandra pungens, Geelong Botanic Gardens, Victoria, Australia

Photograph by Melburnian. Some rights reserved.    (view image details)

Growth Characteristics information is sourced from: State Flora Catalog, Government of South Australia Licensed under Creative Commons CC BY 4.0 license.


distribution map showing range of Hemiandra pungens in Australia

Map is from The Atlas of Living Australia web site, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia License

Common Name

Snakebush is a small shrub with variable habit. It can be a prostrate shrub or trailing plant. The leaves are usually simple lance-shaped with a short sharp point. Leaves grow to about 25mm long. The tubular flowers have two lips, with the a two-lobed upper lip and three-lobed lower lip. The flowers are mauve, reddish pink, pink or white with darker spots inside the throat. The plant flowers in spring. The most commonly grown form is H. pungens glabra which is a prostrate form with hairless stems and pink flowers. Hemiandra is genus of about eight species found only in Western Australia, and is closely related to the "Mint bushes" (Prostanthera).

Snakebush is found on coastal sands and woodlands

south Western Australia

Growth Characteristics
Height (m): 0.1
Spread (m): 1.5
Soil Texture: sand, loam, clay
Soil pH: acid soils, neutral soils, alkaliine soils
Frost Sensitivity: moderately sensitive
Minimum Rainfall (mm): 500
Flower Colour: purple
Flower Season: spring, summer

(source: SA State Flora Catalog)

Seed of H.pungens is not generally available. The species is relatively easy to propagate from cuttings. Grafting onto a related species such as Westringia fruticosa (as has been done with Prostanthera species) may be worth trying as a means of extending the range of cultivation of the species.

Wildlife Interest
attracts birds

Common Name:Snakebush