Adenanthos cygnorum

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Common woollybush
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Division: Magnoliophyta
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Class: Magnoliopsida
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Order: Proteales
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Family: Proteaceae
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Genus: Adenanthos
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Species: A. cygnorum
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Binomial name
Adenanthos cygnorum
Trinomial name
Type Species
A. cygnorum subsp. cygnorum

A. cygnorum subsp. chamaephyton


Adenanthos cygnorum, commonly known as common woollybush or just woollybush, is a tall shrub in the Proteaceae family. It is endemic to Western Australia, commonly occurring in the south west of the State from north of Geraldton south to Kojanup. It is very common on road verges and in disturbed areas of Perth.



Common woollybush grows as a tall shrub up to three metres high. It has soft grey-green or grey-blue foliage, consisting of closely packed, small, hairy leaves on pliable, hairy stems. It is woolly both in appearance and feel, hence the common name. The leaves have nectar glands at the tips known as nectaries; these attract ants, which play a role in distribution of seed. Like most other Adenanthos species, but unusually for Proteaceae, the flowers of common woollybush are not large and showy, but are rather small, dull, and hidden within the foliage.


Adenanthos cygnorum was first collected by the English botanist and plant-collector Allan Cunningham (1791-1839) in 1818 at the Swan River. The specific name cygnorum comes from the Latin cygnus meaning swan, and refers to the Swan River Colony.


There are two subspecies: Adenanthos cygnorum subsp. cygnorum and Adenanthos cygnorum subsp. chamaephyton. The latter is a prostrate, mat-forming shrub; it is rare and poorly known, and some populations are under threat, but is not currently considered endangered.



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