Blister Bush

Rhadinothamnus anceps (DC.) Paul G.Wilson.

Synonyms - Phebalium anceps, Phebalium argenteum.

Family: Rutaceae.

Names:

Phebalium is probably adapted from the Greek phibaleos the name of a fig tree or myrtle.
Anceps
Blister bush refers to its propensity to cause skin blisters on contact and its growth habit.

Other Names:

Summary:

A slender perennial shrub to 3000 mm tall with white flowers and angular branchlets with silver scales on young growth. It causes blistering of the skin on contact.

Description:

Cotyledons:

Two.

Leaves:

Alternate.
Stipules -
Petiole - Short.
Blade - Simple, narrowly elliptic, 40-120 mm by 8-23 mm, papery, silver with tiny scales when young and becoming smooth with age.

Stems:

Erect, up to 3000 mm tall, branched. Branchlets angular and covered with tiny scales when young.

Flower head:

Flowers on 4-12 mm long stalks (pedicels) in cymes at the ends of branches and in the leaf axils. Pedicels with tiny scales and 2 small bracts near the middle.

Flowers:

Ovary - Rounded, densely covered with silver scales. 5 carpels joined at the top with 2 ovules each. Style simple from the centre of the ovary. Large disc continuous with the ovary.
Calyx - Hemispherical, 1-1.5 mm long, silver with tiny scales on the outside, 5 triangular lobes.
Petals - 5, free, white, broadly oval, 4.5-6 mm long, silver with tiny scales on the outside.
Stamens - 10, 3-5 mm long, spreading. Filaments awl shaped, hairless.
Anthers - 1 mm long, notched at the base with a tiny pointed tip.

Fruit:

5 shortly beaked, smooth sections (mericarps), 3 mm long.

Seeds:

Flattened, oval, 2 mm long.

Roots:

Key Characters:

Slender perennial shrub.
Silver scales. Angular branchlets.
White, 5 petalled flowers.

Biology:

Life cycle:

Perennial shrub.

Physiology:

Reproduction:

By seed.

Flowering times:

September to October in Perth.

Seed Biology and Germination:

Vegetative Propagules:

None.

Hybrids:

Allelopathy:

Population Dynamics and Dispersal:

Spread by seed.

Origin and History:

Australia.

Distribution:

NT, WA.
In coastal areas.

Courtesy Australia's Virtual Herbarium.

Habitats:

Climate:

Temperate. Mediterranean.

Soil:

Sands.

Plant Associations:

Significance:

Beneficial:

Detrimental:

Causes blistering.

Toxicity:

Contact causes blistering of the skin in humans and the mouths of stock.

Symptoms:

Blistering.

Treatment:

Remove stock from infestations.

Legislation:

The Wildlife Conservation Act prohibits removal of native plants from the wild in their native range on government land.

Management and Control:

Thresholds:

Eradication strategies:

Spray with 1 litre of Garlon® plus 1 litre of spray oil in 100 litres of water.

Herbicide resistance:

Biological Control:

Related plants:

Desert Phebalium (Phebalium glandulosum)
Club-leaved Phebalium (Phebalium obcordatum)
Narrow-leaved Phebalium (Phebalium stenophyllum)

Plants of similar appearance:

References:

Lazarides, M. and Hince, B. (1993). CSIRO handbook of economic plants of Australia. (CSIRO, Melbourne). #962.1.

Marchant, N.G., Wheeler, J.R., Rye, B.L., Bennett, E.M., Lander, N.S. and Macfarlane, T.D. (1987). Flora of the Perth Region. (Western Australian Herbarium, Department of Agriculture, Western Australia). P489. Diagram.

Acknowledgments:

Collated by HerbiGuide. Phone 08 98444064 or www.herbiguide.com.au for more information.