SPYRIDIUM LAWRENCEI                    Rhamnaceae
Small-leaf Dusty Miller
                          Tas endemic
Spyridium lawrencei

A woody shrub which occurs in a much-branched compact form in open situations, but tending to be more straggling in shade.  Height 1 to 1.5 metres.

Leaves: small, thick and leathery, 2 to 4 mm long, convex and round to heart shape with a
blunt or notched tip and recurved margins. Upper surface usually devoid of hairs with
deeply indented veins. Lower surface is covered with a dense layer of short hairs.

Flowers:  cream coloured, very small (about 2 mm in diameter) and clustered at the ends
of branches with conspicuous velvety "floral leaves" surrounding the flowers.

Buds begin to form in early spring (September), peaking in production in November with the majority flowering in February although flowering continues in some plants until April, whereas the floral leaves remain on plants for most of the year.
Seed: is produced after one season's flowering, develops over winter and is not released until the following year. Seed development is greatest during October and November, with fruit maturing in January for most of the population and released in February.

Distribution:  Often restricted to crevices between plates of exposed bedrock, which suggests it is drought tolerant where watershed effects of rock faces are the main source of moisture.  Also occurs in the zone between riparian vegetation, woodland or forest, and pasture where it is a component of shrubby vegetation maintained by regular disturbances such as fire or flooding.

Spyridium lawrencei is similar in appearance to Spyridium obcordatum (creeping dustymiller).

(Further information - Threatened Species Section, DPI&W)