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Lomatia polymorpha facts for kids

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Mountain guitar plant
Lomatia polymorpha.jpg
Scientific classification

Lomatia polymorpha, commonly known as mountain guitar plant, is a shrub or small tree of the family Proteaceae which is endemic to Tasmania. It is a shrub or small tree with linear leaves and white, cream-coloured or greenish flowers. It is common throughout its range which is approximately complementary to that of L. tinctoria in Tasmania.


Lomatia polymorpha is a shrub or small tree which grows to a height of between 2.5 and 4 m (8 and 10 ft). It has simple leaves which are linear to narrow egg-shaped, 20–80 mm (0.8–3 in) long, 2.5–10 mm (0.1–0.4 in) wide, have a stalk about 5 mm (0.2 in) long and sometimes have a few lobes or teeth on the margins. The stems sometimes have a covering of matted hairs while the lower surface of the leaves is covered with rusty-coloured hairs and has a prominent mid-vein. The heads of flowers barely extend beyond the leaves and are white, cream or greenish-white in colour. Flowers appear between January and March and are followed by fruits which are dark grey to black and 20–30 mm (0.8–1 in) long.

Taxonomy and naming

Lomatia polymorpha was first formally described in 1810 by Robert Brown in Transactions of the Linnean Society of London.

Distribution and habitat

Mountain guitar plant is a common and widespread species found "approximately south of the Pieman River and west of the Derwent River" in subalpine woodlands, lowland scrubby vegetation in wetter areas, occasionally in rainforest, from sea level to 1,200 m (4,000 ft). Where the range overlaps with L. tinctoria, (as in the region of Lake St Clair), hybrids often occur.

Use in horticulture

A hardy species in cultivation, L. polymorpha can be grown readily from seeds or cuttings and grows well in most soils and aspects.

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