Photo: M. Fagg ANBG

Line drawing by M. Perkins (from L.Haegi, unpubl. thesis).


Anthocercis viscosa R. Br. subsp. caudata Haegi, Telopea 2: 175 (1981)

T: Condingup Peak, c. 62 km ENE of Esperance, W.A., 6 Oct. 1976, L. Haegi 1225; holo: PERTH; iso: AD, CANB, K, L, MO, NSW.


Erect, sometimes spreading or straggling shrub to 3 m, pubescent with glandular hairs; branches viscid.  

Leaves obovate to ovate, almost sessile, 20–60 mm long, usually 10–30 mm wide, minutely serrulate-crenulate, viscid.  

Inflorescence cyme-like, 1–3–flowered, pedunculate; pedicels 5–15 mm long. Calyx 3–6.5 mm long. Corolla 20–30 mm long, white to creamy-white, the striations green or purplish; tube about one-quarter to one-third length of corolla; lobes ovate-triangular to linear, 12–25 mm long, 3.5–6.5 mm wide, sometimes with pale purple streaks. Stamens 4–8 mm long.  

Capsule ovoid to ellipsoid, acute or apiculate, 8–19 mm long. Seeds 1.8–3 mm long.

Distribution and ecology

Occurs between Esperance and Mt Ragged, and in the Walpole-Nornalup National Park W.A.  

Always associated with granite outcrops.

Common name

Sticky Tailflower


Distinct from subsp. viscosa by its narrower corolla lobes, shorter corolla and corolla tube, calyx and stamens and by its more easterly distribution.

Phylogenetic studies by Garcia & Olmstead (2003) on the Tribe Anthocercideae using two chloroplast DNA regions included this species. The studies indicated that Anthocercis is monophyletic.

Reference: V.F.Garcia & R.G.Olmstead (2003). Phylogenetics of Tribe Anthocercideaea (Solanaceae) based on ndhF and trnL/F sequence data. Systematic Botany 28: 609-615.


Selected specimens

W.A.: c. 10 km ESE of Howick Hill, N.N. Donner 2638 (AD, CANB, PERTH); c. 117 km E of Esperance, L. Haegi 1237 (AD, BIRM, BRI, F, NSW, PERTH); Sandy Hook Is., 10 Nov. 1950, J.H. Willis (MEL).

Derivation of epithet

From viscosus, Latin for sticky, a reference to the glandular hairs of this species.

Images and information on web

Images of this species can be seen on the FloraBase site at

Pharmacology: A discussion of the tropane alkaloids which occur in Anthocercis and other Anthocercideae can be found in Griffith & Lin (2000).

Ref: W.J. Griffin & G.D. Lin (2000). Chemotaxonomy and geographical distribution of tropane alkaloids. Phytochemistry 53: 627–628.

References to the possible toxic properties of Anthocercis species can be found with a search in the FDA Poisonous Plant Database

Plant status (if any)

Without any declared rating in W.A. – see