The Australian Native Plant Society has an excellent write-up on pink rice flower, including the etymology of its generic name: “from Greek pimele, “soft fat”, presumably referring to the oily seeds or fleshy cotyledons”.
Native to coastal Western Australia, Pimelea ferruginea is a small shrub preferring full to partial sun and well-draining soils. While the species can grow to 1.5m (~5 feet), the cultivar ‘Bonne Petite‘ is more restricted in its dimensions; it is only half the height at 0.7m (and similarly wide). In North America, this cultivar is often sold as ‘Bon Petite’ (and what this plant was labeled as when it was photographed a decade ago).
Pimelea ferruginea was scientifically described and named by Jacques-Julien Houtou de Labillardière. His trip to Australia (in which the type specimen of Pimelea ferruginea was collected) is described in the above Wikipedia account:
In 1791 Labillardière was appointed as a naturalist to Bruni d’Entrecasteaux’s expedition to Oceania in search of the lost ships of Jean-François de Galaup, comte de La Pérouse. D’Entrecasteaux failed to find any trace of the missing expedition, but his ships visited southwest Australia, Tasmania, the North Island of New Zealand, and the East Indies, where Labillardière, Claude Riche, Étienne Pierre Ventenat assisted by gardener Félix Delahaye collected zoological, botanical and geological specimens, and described the customs and languages of the local Indigenous Australians.
While the expedition was exploring Oceania, the French Revolutionary Wars had broken out in Europe, and when the ships reached Java Labillardière’s scientific collections were seized by the British as spoils of war. Labillardière despaired at the loss of three years’ painstaking work, but he had an ally in Joseph Banks, who campaigned for the return of the collections. In 1796 his lobbying succeeded, and he was able to write to William Price at the British Museum:
… his Majesty’s Ministers have thought it necessary for the honour of the British nation and for the advancement of Science that the right of the Captors to the Collection should be on this occasion wav’d and that the whole should be returned to M. de Billardiere, in order that he may be able to publish his Observations on Natural History in a complete manner … By this her Majesty will lose an acquisition to her herbarium, which I very much wish’d to see deposited there, but the national character of Great Britain will certainly gain much credit for holding a conduct towards Science and Scientific men liberal in the highest degree.
Labillardière returned to France with his collections in 1796. In 1799 he published a popular account of his voyage, Relation du Voyage à la Recherche de la Pérouse, and was elected to the Académie des sciences. Between 1804 and 1807 he published Novae Hollandiae Plantarum Specimen, the first general description of the flora of Australia.