Pimelea spicata ~ Spiked Rice-flower

Pimelea spicata, Canberra, Australia Capital Territory, Australia * – April 2011

Pimelea spicata: Spiked Rice-flower

Common Names: Spiked Rice-flower, Pink Pimelea, Rice Flower.

Taxonomy: Plantae; Angiosperms; Eudicots; Rosids; Malvales; Thymelaeaceae; Pimelea spicata.

Location/Environment: The Pimelea prefers woodland habitats and can range from partial shade to full sun throughout the New South Wales(where it is native). Prefers clay soils.

A National Rare Species, The Spiked Rice-flower is a endangered (schedule 1) small slender shrub ranging from erect to decumbent upwards of 50 centimeteres in height, with taproots that resemble carrots, extending into the earth upwards of 18 cm length and 24 mm diameter. These shrubs can live from 20-30 years old. Its leaves are small and elliptical growing upwards of 20 mm in length. They have small white or pale pink flowers (often tinged with pink) on spikes that blossom throughout the year, especially after rainfall notably in Spring. Each spike contains upwards of 20 flowers. They bear a one seeded green nut that is roughly 3 mm long. The fruits contain black seeds. It is named from the Greek “pimele” meaning “soft fat” that probably describes its oily seeds or fleshy cotyledons and the latin “spica” meaning “spike” describing its flowering in terminal spikes.

Seeds are collected in June and stored in soil while dormant before planting. The plant can resprout from tap roots as some have been observed after fire. Keep away from invasive weeds that compete with it for resources, especially the bridal creeper (Asparagus asparagoides), bitou bush (Chrysanthemoides monilifera), blackberry (Rubus fruticosus agg.), St John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum), kikuyu (Pennisetum clandestinum), lantana (Lantana camara), African olive (Olea africana subsp. africana) and privet (Ligustrum lucidum). It is difficult to cultivate but not impossible. It is very difficult to germinate with the most success from cuttings, though propogating material is scarce.

Common Uses: Unknown.

Culinary: Unknown.

Medicinal: Unknown.

Folklore and Magic: Unknown.

Mythology: Unknown.

NOTE: This article is in constant state of research, updating, and evolution. If you have information to add, please submit to science@technogypsie.com

Photos from:

Australian National Botanical Gardens*
Canberra, Australia Capital Territory, Australia *

Bibliography and Recommended Reading:

  • Absolute Astronomy ~ Pimelea spicata; by unknown author; notes taken from web site in 2011; Absolute Astronomy; www.absoluteastronomy.com.
  • Australian Native Plants Society ~ Pimelea spicata; by unknown author; notes taken from web site in 2011; ANPSA; www.anpsa.org.au.
  • National Parks of New South Wales ~ “Recovery Plans Draft for Pimelea spicata”.
  • Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust ~ Pimelea spicata; by unknown author; notes taken from web site in 2011; RBGSYN: www.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au.
  • Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia ~ Pimelea spicata; by unknown author; notes taken from web site in 2011; wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org.

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