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Plant of the Month
July 2023


Lachnostachys verbascifolia F.Muell. var. verbascifolia


Lachnostachys verbascifolia var. verbascifolia (Lambs’ Tails) is a tall, stout shrub growing to 2 m high. A lamb’s tail is exactly what the flower heads look like, with their white and densely woolly spike-like inflorescences. When open, the insides of the flowers display a burst of intense purple colour that contrasts dramatically with the white woolly spikes. The flowers can be seen from July to November.

Lachnostachys verbascifolia can sometimes be confused with Lachnostachys coolgardiensis, which co-occurs in part of its range. However, L. coolgardiensis differs in having much narrower, linear leaves and quadrangular branches.

Lambs’ Tails is endemic to WA and occurs in various habitats from the Mallee, Coolgardie and Wheatbelt bioregions to Perth and Geraldton and inland to the Murchison region. The other variety, Lachnostachys verbascifolia var. paniculata, occurs north and east of Esperance.

Photo: R. Davis

Find out more about Lachnostachys verbascifolia F.Muell. var. verbascifolia.