Flat leaf bluebush (Maireana planifolia) in the Western Australian rangelands

Page last updated: Tuesday, 6 July 2021 - 9:58am

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Flat leaf bluebush (Maireana planifolia) is one of many plant species found in the Western Australian rangelands.

This page provides a summary of the plant's value for pastoralism. Pastoral lessees and station managers can use this information to assess pasture condition and trend.

Indicator value

Flat leaf bluebush is an intermediate species. In good condition pastures, it initially increases under heavy grazing pressure. If heavy grazing continues, it may decline to a relic trace or disappear completely. Flat leaf bluebush populations can recover over 5–10 years, provided a relic population persists.

Forage value

Flat leaf bluebush is highly palatable and particularly attractive to livestock as ephemeral feed becomes scarce with the onset of dry seasonal conditions.


Neutral to acidic soils, loams

General description

Flat leaf bluebush is a grey or grey-blue open shrub that can grow up to 1m. The flattened leaves are a distinguishing feature from other bluebushes, and the leaves are relatively thin and about 10mm long by 4mm wide. The leaves are sparsely to densely covered with fine hairs that make the leaves appear grey. The flowers are very small and borne at the ends of the branches. The seed case is relatively thin walled and surrounded by a translucent papery wing about 15mm across. The wing is straw-coloured at maturity.