Baeckea L.

Commemorating Dr Abraham Baeck (1713–95), Swedish naturalist and physician.

Prostrate to tall shrubs. Leaves opposite, entire or toothed, shortly stalked. Flower clusters axillary, occasionally solitary. Flowers 5-parted, white to pink. Calyx persistent in fruit. Petals free. Stamens 5-many, anthers gland-tipped. Ovary half-inferior, 2(-3)-chambered. Fruit a loculicidal capsule.

Grown for the masses of flowers and usually neat foliage.

A number of species formerly in Baeckea have been placed in Babingtonia. Some species listed here are likely to undergo further revision.

The following species are fairly rare in cultivation: B. gunniana Schauer, Alpine Baeckea, from montane NSW, Vic and Tas, generally more or less prostrate with crowded leaves and white flowers; B. imbricata (Gaertn.) Druce from NSW and Qld, with close-set rounded leaves and solitary white flowers in late spring and summer; and B. utilis Miq., Mountain Baeckea, from NSW and Vic, a shrub to 3 m tall with elliptic to oblanceolate leaves and solitary white flowers in summer.

14 species (13 from Australia, 1 extending to Malesia and S China).

Seed or cuttings.

Baeckea has mostly 2-chambered ovaries and free stamens with versatile anthers splitting longitudinally, while Babingtonia has 3-chambered ovaries and anthers rigidly attached and opening by pores or short slits. Astartea is similar but has stamens in 5 bundles arranged opposite the sepals.

Bean (1997b).

Source: Spencer, R. (2002). Myrtaceae. In: Spencer, R.. Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 3. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 2. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.

Hero image
kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Magnoliopsida
superorder     Rosanae
order      Myrtales
family       Myrtaceae
Higher taxa
Subordinate taxa
species         Baeckea linifolia Rudge