Tetratheca with over 20 species, are a group of small shrubs, the best known being Tetratheca thymifolia or Black Eyed Susan’ (pictured right).
Commonly called ‘Fairy Bells’ and or ‘Lilac Bells’ depending on the species they are readily available for sale in nurseries.
A slightly scrambling shrub from coastal New south Wales this small shrub will reach around .5m in height with a similar spread. A white cultivar is also available, with the same black centres.
The flowers do tend to hand down, so the black centres are not always conspicuous.
How to Grow Tetratheca thymifolia
Extra water during long dry summer will be required, a layer of mulch to provide a cool root run will be beneficial. Most species can be grown in containers and they do make a good plant when used in this manner.
Long flowering they add colour to the garden for many months. Most species have a slow suckering manner and will spread to form a clump over time. Flowers are lightly perfumed.
Some of the cultivars, such as T. thymifolia ‘Bicentenial Bells’ are bushier in growth habit than the species, have larger flowers and in good conditions will flower almost year round.
Tetratheca gunnii or ‘ Shy Susan’ is from Tasmania and is rare.
- Botanical Name – Tetratheca thymifolia
- Common Names – ‘Black Eyed Susan’, ‘Fairy Bells’ and ‘Lilac Bells’
- Family -Eleocarpaceae
- Height – To Around .5 metres.
- Spread – To around 1 metre.
- Position – Full Sun to a little light shade.
- Soil – Humus rich and well drained.
- Flowers – White or pink with dark centres.
- Flowering Time – Autumn through to Spring depending on climate.
- Foliage – Mid green