Golden bluebush (Maireana georgei) in the Western Australian rangelands

Page last updated: Tuesday, 6 July 2021 - 2:36pm

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Golden bluebush (Maireana georgei) 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

Golden bluebush is a decreaser species. In abundance, the plant is a reliable indicator of good or improving pasture condition.

Golden bluebush is known to set seed only after winter rain and these seeds are only viable for a year. Plants that are heavily grazed before winter rains tend to produce very little seed. It is recommended that pastures containing golden bluebush are rested over the summer so that sufficient seed can be produced when rainfall effective for reproduction is received.

Forage value

Golden bluebush is a valuable fodder shrub with relatively high crude protein levels and digestibility. 


Saline and alkaline soils

General description

Golden bluebush is a compact, rounded shrub growing to about 50cm. The branches are woolly and bear thin, succulent leaves up to 10–15mm long. The leaves are alternate and can be hairless or covered with sparse to dense woolly hairs. The flowers are small and are held between the leaf base and the stem. The seed capsule is woody and about 4mm across, surrounded by a showy seed case with a papery golden wing up to 20mm across.