Botany Photo of the Day
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January 18, 2017: Botany Photo of the Day is being actively worked on. Returning soon!

Boronia hippopala

Boronia hippopala

Thank you to Nuytsia@Tas on Flickr for another wonderful photograph (original | BPotD Flickr Group Pool). Much appreciated!

The Australian genus Boronia has recently been the subject of taxonomic scrutiny. Marco Duretto of the Tasmanian published a paper in 2003, “Notes on Boronia (Rutaceae) in eastern and northern Australia” (Muelleria 17:19–135), that described several new species, including Boronia hippopala or velvet boronia. It seems like the taxonomic investigation was well overdue; in Tasmania alone, the number of taxa leaped from six to fifteen (see: Some Giant Steps for Threatened Boronias pp. 18-20 PDF). Of these nine taxa, one seems to have been a range expansion of a taxon known from elsewhere in Australia, one was a re-recognition of a previously-described species that had since been lumped together with another species, and the remaining seven taxa had never previously been described.

Members of the citrus family, or Rutaceae, boronias have some typical qualities of the family: evergreen woody shrubs with fragrant flowers. Your chances of sampling the scent of velvet boronia (and mine) are quite limited though; other than the few plants in cultivation, Boronia hippopala grows in a small woodland and scrubland area of eastern Tasmania measuring no longer than 7km (4.3 miles) at its widest. This factsheet on Boronia hippopala (PDF) contains more detailed information about the species, including description, ecology and threats.


a lovely photograph you say its part
of the citrus i guees our orange trees
here in florida would be in the family
today i am off to tasmanian for a
internet visit nuytsia has a fine
group abstracts are good we could
have another of daniels

Daniel, your photos are always beautiful and informative. Thanks for educating me.

Elizabeth, your comments would be much more interesting if you would learn to punctuate and capitalize. Proofreading your post before you send it would also help.

Hello Maggie, first of all - not my photo this time (though I wish it was!).

To defend Elizabeth a bit, I think she is being somewhat poetic with her comments. I'd rather have poetic comments than none at all!

Sweet and lovely photograph. Thanks also for the info on the species.

I am told that the ability to detect Boronia perfume is controlled by a single gene. I don't know if that's true, but I do know that I can't smell it (sigh). It's certainly true of NZ Alseuosmia species, which my friends can smell from feet away and I can't - different family from Boronia - same gene?

It almost looks like marzipan flowers coated in icing sugar or maybe caster sugar. I can't help having my mouth water at the sight.

Just beautiful. The selective focus of the photograh really is great. What wonderful colours. It is really nice to learn more each day.
Thank you,

I enjoy all the comments and especially Elizabeth's with her stream-of-consciousness imagery of Florida and her ability to express her appreciation of the natural world.

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