Lissanthe strigosa, Peach Heath
This member of the Epacridaceae family is known the Peach Heath. Lissanthe strigosa is one of a number of small shrubs that have regenerated on our property Yallaroo east of Armidale, after sheep were removed.
Lissanthe strigosa is a small, upright shrub reaching a height of one metre. The species is said to sucker but we have seen no evidence of suckering.
Leaves are small, stiff, dark green above, paler beneath and crowned with a sharp point. Flowers are small, tubular, pink or white and sweetly scented. Good autumn and winter rain usually triggers profuse spring flowering. Small drupes (fleshy fruit enclosing a seed) follow the flowers and are pale green with a sweet taste. Peach Heath, in the future, could have potential as a bush tucker food with some judicious breeding.
Peach Heath although common in the wild is rarely seen in cultivation. This is a pity because both flowers and fruits are attractive features. With some tender loving care, Lissanthe strigosa would become a dense, many-flowered shrub. In the wild plants are not at their best because they are usually struggling for survival.
Lissanthe strigosa is found in all eastern mainland states as well as Tasmania and South Australia.
Propagation is from seed that must be fresh or cuttings from new season’s growth. We have had no success with either propagation method. If you succeed in striking any Epacridaceae cuttings, handle carefully as they have very fine roots.
Warren and Gloria Sheather