Spreading Emu-bush Cultivar413/Flickr

Spreading Emu-bush

A spreading shrub with stiff, tangled branches often ending in sharp spines. Grows to 0.5 - 1.5 m tall and 2 m wide.


Leaves are arranged alternately along branches. They are erect, linear to oblong in shape and are generally 5 - 20 mm long. They are smooth and without hairs and are mid-green in colour.


3.5 – 6.5 mm long and 0.8 – 2 mm wide, mauve to lilac-coloured, bell-shaped, spotted, found solitary at the bases of the leaves. The flower's 4 stamens (pollen-bearing) are fully enclosed in the petal tube.


Fruit ovoid to conical, 5 – 9 mm long and 2 – 4.5 mm diameter, dry, woody, beaked and splitting into 4 segments at apex.

Field Guide

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Species: WhatToObserve Image

What to Observe

  • First fully open single flower

  • Full flowering (record all days)

  • End of flowering (when 95% of the flowers have faded)

  • No flowering

  • Fruits/seeds (record all days)

Species: WhenAndWhere Image

When and Where

When To Look

  • Flowering occurs from September to April (mostly from November)
  • Fruiting follows flowering

Where To Look

  • Occurs mainly in River Red Gum and Black Box communities on heavy clay soils of riverflood plains
Species: WhatElse Image

What Else?

Similar Species

Spotted Emu Bush (E. maculata) has flowers with or without spots. Its stamens (pollen-bearing anthers) extend outside of the tube.