Agonis flexuosa: Western Australian Willow Myrtle

Discover the Western Australian Willow Myrtle, a native Australian tree that’s as versatile as it is beautiful. Learn how to grow it, care for it, and why it could be the perfect addition to your garden.

Meet the Western Australian Willow Myrtle, also known as the Western Australian Peppermint tree. This medium-sized tree is known for its weeping habit and aromatic leaves.

It’s a native Australian plant that thrives in various ecosystems, from coastal areas to forests.

Why should you consider adding this tree to your garden? For starters, it’s a visual delight and has a pleasant fragrance. Keep reading to find out how to make the most of this native gem and common mistakes to avoid.

Family and Subfamily: MyrtaceaeMyrtoideae

The Myrtaceae family is expansive, with around 5,000 species and 140 genera under its umbrella. Predominantly evergreen shrubs or trees, it counts the Western Australian Willow Myrtle among its members. Many in this family have aromatic leaves and blooms, a result of oil glands present in their leaves.

Spanning various Australian habitats, from lush rainforests to the more parched areas, it’s home to renowned plants like the Eucalyptus and Golden Wattle.

Delving further, the Myrtoideae subfamily is celebrated for its vibrant flowers adorned with numerous stamens. Within its ranks are other Aussie favourites such as the bottlebrush and paperbark trees.

Agonis flexuosa: Basic Information

  • Common Name: Western Australian Willow Myrtle, Western Australian Peppermint tree
  • Scientific Name: Agonis flexuosa
  • Origin: Western Australia
  • Family: Myrtaceae
  • Subfamily: Myrtoideae
  • Plant Type: Medium-sized tree
  • Size: 6-10 meters in height, 3-5 meters in width
  • Leaf Type: Narrow, lance-shaped, green and glossy
  • Flower Colour: Small, white clusters

Appearance and Features

Agonis flexuosa 1 | Plant Profiles

This tree has an upright, spreading growth habit. It typically reaches heights of 6-10 meters and widths of 3-5 meters. The leaves are narrow, lance-shaped, and remain green year-round.

In spring and summer, you’ll see clusters of small, white flowers. After flowering, small woody capsules appear, housing numerous tiny seeds.

Natural Habitat

The Western Australian Willow Myrtle is native to Western Australia. It’s commonly found in coastal areas, forests, and grasslands.

Melaleuca thymifolia (Thyme-leaf Honey Myrtle)
Lemon Myrtle Tree (Backhousia citriodora)
Dichorisandra thyrsiflora (Blue Ginger)

How to Grow Western Australian Willow Myrtle

Agonis flexuosa plant | Plant Profiles

People often choose this tree for its attractive weeping habit and pleasant scent. However, be cautious of its invasive roots when deciding where to plant it.

Growing Conditions

  • Soil: Well-drained, slightly acidic to neutral pH
  • Light: Full sun to part shade
  • Climate: Temperate to sub-tropical

Planting Guide

Plant in spring or autumn. Space them about 3-5 meters apart to allow room for growth.

Care and Maintenance

Water regularly but don’t over-water. Prune in late winter or early spring. Mulch around the base, avoiding the trunk.

The tree doesn’t need special feeding but avoid high-phosphorus fertilisers, as native Australian plants like this can be sensitive to it.

Pest and Disease Control

Look out for aphids and scale insects. Treat with organic insecticides if needed.

Agonis flexuosa Varieties

There are several varieties of Agonis flexuosa available for you to grow in your garden:

  1. Agonis flexuosa ‘After Dark’: This is a cultivar with dark purple to almost black foliage. It’s particularly striking and can grow to about 6 metres tall.
  2. Agonis flexuosa ‘Burgundy’: This variety has deep burgundy-coloured leaves. It’s a medium-sized tree that can reach about 5 metres in height.
  3. Agonis flexuosa ‘Nana’: A dwarf form, ‘Nana’ typically grows to about 1 -2 metres tall. It’s used for low hedging or as a ground cover.
  4. Agonis flexuosa ‘Variegata’: As the name suggests, this one has variegated leaves. It’s less common than the other varieties but is sought after for its unique appearance.

Special Features

The weeping habit makes it a standout in any garden. Its aromatic leaves add a sensory experience. It’s also drought-tolerant, a big plus for water-conscious gardeners.

Wildlife and Pollinators

This tree attracts various bird species, offering both habitat and food.

Uses in the Garden and Beyond

It serves well as a border plant or feature tree. Its leaves can be used for herbal teas or flavouring dishes. Indigenous Australian cultures have used it for treating coughs and colds.

Environmental Benefits

Being drought-tolerant, it’s ideal for water-saving gardens. It also provides habitat for birds.

Western Australian Willow Myrtle FAQ

How tall does the Western Australian Willow Myrtle grow?

It typically grows to a height of 6-10 meters.

Is the Western Australian Willow Myrtle drought-tolerant?

Yes, once established, it can withstand periods of drought.

What pests commonly affect the Western Australian Willow Myrtle?

Aphids and scale insects are common pests. Organic insecticides can be effective for treatment.

Photo of author

Linda Jones

Based in sunny Brisbane, Linda has a keen interest in ornamental plants. She firmly believes that gardens are as much about aesthetics as they are about functionality. Despite being a life-long gardener, she still enjoys learning about new plants and gardening techniques and sharing her discoveries with the Ultimate Backyard community. When she's not immersed in her garden, Linda loves reading and walking.


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