Photo: M. Fagg ANBG

Photo: M. Fagg ANBG

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


Cyphanthera tasmanica Miers, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. ser. 2, 11: 377 (1853)

Anthocercis tasmanica (Miers) J.D. Hook., Fl. Tasmaniae 1: 289, t. 92 (1857).

T: `Van Diemen's Land', Tas., Gunn 1992; syn: HO, K, NSW;  Kelveden, Great Swanport, Tas, Backhouse s.n.; syn: K.


Erect shrub to 4 m, grey-green. Branches densely to moderately granular-tomentose with stellate-dendritic, non-glandular hairs and scattered glandular hairs.

Leaves elliptic, almost sessile, 15–30 mm long, 4–9 mm wide, sometimes larger, tomentose.

Inflorescence panicle-like, dense, leafy; pedicels 2–9 mm long. Calyx 3.5–7 mm long, tomentose. Corolla 10–15 mm long, pubescent, creamy-white, the striations purplish; lobes ovate-truncate, 5–9 mm long. Stamens 2–4 mm long.

Capsule more or less globose, 4–5 mm diam. Seeds 2.5–3.5 mm long.

Distribution and ecology

A rare species endemic to the east coast of Tas. and adjacent offshore islands. Occurs on steep, rocky, exposed coastal sites.

Common name

Tasmanian Ray Flower


Pharmacology: A discussion of the tropane alkaloids which occur in Cyphanthera 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.


Selected specimens

Tas.: Kelvedon, 13 Nov. 1972, A. Himson s.n. (HO); Kelvedon, Dec. 1975, A. Himson s.n. (ADW 51136); Cygnet River, F. Mueller s.n. (MEL 70245).

Derivation of epithet

From tasmanica, a reference to the type locality of the species.

Images and information on web


Coloured illustrations of this species can be seen in

A photograph and information can be accessed on the website of the Tasmanian branch of the Australian Plants Society at and another photograph of this species in the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens by Nuytsia@Tas can be seen at

Plant status (if any)

Classified as Risk Code 3RCa (Briggs & Leigh, Rare or Threatened Australian Plants, 1995).

Not listed under the Commonwealth EPBC Act but regarded as Rare under Tasmanian legislation. For a down-loadable fact sheet see$FILE/Cyphanthera%20tasmanica.pdf