Sannantha papillosa (previously called Babingtonia papillosa) was a Show and Tell item at our February meeting – thanks to Charles! We didn’t have time to discuss this interesting species then, so we’ll give it Plant of the Month attention instead.
Sannantha papillosa (Myrtaceae) is listed as Vulnerable under the Queensland Nature Conservation Act because the species occurs naturally in only a few isolated places. One of its locations is revealed by its common name “Mt Elliot Myrtle” but only hardy bushwalkers get to see it thriving on the mountain’s exposed rocky outcrops (photo below).
On the surface of its branchlets (photo below) Sannantha papillosa has ‘papillose’ oil glands (small raised pimples) that distinguish it from other similar species.
Sannantha papillosa was enthusiastically propagated in the early 1990s from Mt Elliot seed by members of Townsville SGAP, now NPQ. The first cultivated plants have provided seed for many subsequent generations grown by our members and by the Landcare nursery.
The species has proved adaptable to local garden conditions, preferring sunny areas with good drainage, and from an early age it puts on a fine show of abundant small white flowers.