Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Mirbelia speciosa Sieb. ex DC.

Half hardy, erect, bushy, evergreen shrub with narrow, linear leaves and axillarey or terminal spikes of reddish-purple, pea-like flowers in winter.  To 1m.  [RHSD, FNSW, Beadle].

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘A handsome New Holland shrub, in its native country forming a scrubby bush, with thinly scattered flowers; but in cultivation becoming much more twiggy, with interrupted racemes of flowers.  The latter are of bright but purple violet; with a yellow spot in the centre of the vexillum.  The accompanying drawing was made in the Nursery of Messrs. Loddiges in March last. […] There appears to be little difference between this and M. floribunda, except in the very short lucid retuse leaves, deeper flowers, and more hairy calyxes and branches of the latter; which is a Swan River shrub, of greater beauty than this.’  [BR f.58/1841].  Introduced to Britain in 1824.  [JD].

History at Camden Park

Listed in all published catalogues [T.685/1843].  It seems likely that Macarthur sourced his plants locally as the species is found in the Illawarra, the Blue Mountains and north of the Hawkesbury River, all areas in which he or Bidwill regularly collected.


Mirbelia speciosa Sweet (1827) = Mirbelia floribunda Benth.

Published Dec 23, 2009 - 05:19 PM | Last updated Jul 21, 2010 - 12:36 PM

Figured are linear leaves and axillary or terminal spikes of reddish-purple, pea-like flowers.  Botanical Register f.58, 1841.

Mirbelia speciosa Sieb. ex DC. | BR f.58/1841 | BHL

Family Fabaceae
Region of origin

Eastern Australia

Common Name
Name in the Camden Park Record

Mirbelia speciosa

Confidence level high