Wilcox bush

Page last updated: Thursday, 16 August 2018 - 2:43pm

Wilcox bush (Eremophila forrestii) 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

The absence of wilcox bush in wanderrie and hardpan mulga country can indicate poor pasture condition. The class of livestock being managed and local palatability of wilcox bush will determine its usefulness as an indicator plant. When readily consumed by livestock, it is considered desirable and decreases under heavy grazing. Wilcox bush has no value as an indicator when it isn’t grazed. Heavy grazing of wilcox bush indicates a feed shortage.

Forage value

Wilcox bush varies considerably in palatability for sheep and is not a preferred feed for cattle. It is an important forage shrub in the Gascoyne coastal plain, in wanderrie country and in hardpan mulga country. 

Habitat

Sandy soils, hardpan, limestone

General description

Wilcox bush is a compact upright shrub that can grow to 2m. The general colour can vary markedly; plants can appear a pale silver-yellow shade of green through to a deep blue-green. The leaves are more or less oval and they sometimes have short stalks. The leaves and young branchlets appear furry. Flowers are pale cream-yellow to pink and come out in winter. The flower stamens extend about 1cm outside the flower tube. The fruit is egg-shaped and up to 6mm wide.

Contact information

Kathryn Ryan
+61 (0)8 9166 4015
Matthew Fletcher
+61 (0)8 9166 4019