Mouse-Ears

Mouse-Ears (Calothamnus rupestris)

Mouse-ears is usually a dense, spreading shrub 2-4 m tall, but it can grow more erect.  It grows in granite soils in the Darling Range.  Calothamnus species are known as “one-sided bottlebrushes”  but the flowers of mouse-ears resemble toothbrushes more than bottlebrushes.  They occur from mid-winter to late spring.  With a covering of short, silver hairs, the fruit have a mouse-like appearance, and two of the four lobes at the end of the fruit are turned back like the ears of a mouse, giving the common name.  The species name comes from rupes “rock” in Latin, referring to it’s rocky habitat.

Ref:  “Leaf and branch: trees and tall shrubs of Perth” by Robert Powell. Published by the Western Australian Department of Environment and Conservation, 2009.