Katandra Bushland Sanctuary

0431 857 407


Euphorbiaceae, sometimes referred to as the spurge family, is the fifth largest family of the flowering plants. This mainly tropical family has almost 7000 species worldwide. In Australia there are about 230 species in 58 genera.

While many spurges are herbs, there are also many rainforest trees – the greatest concentration in Australia being around the Atherton Tableland in north-eastern Queensland.

The flowers of Euphorbiaceae species are usually small and unisexual, with the male and female flowers on the same plant.

This family of plants includes many that are used commercially. Some are important food sources, some provide medicinal drugs while others are dangerous for the poisons within.  

There are 5 member species of Euphorbiaceae growing in Katandra –

  • Amperea xiphoclada (Broom spurge)

  • Bertya brownii ** 

  • Monotaxis linifolia **

  • Homalanthus nutans (previously Omalanthus nutans)

  • Ricinocarpos pinifolius (Wedding Bush) 

** Note - Both Bertya brownii and Monotaxis linifolia are considered to be rare or uncommon in the Sydney area.

Katandra also contains six other plant species that were originally classified in the Euphorbiaceae family but are no longer.

Bertya Brownii

Bertya Brownii is one of the locally rare plants found growing in Katandra. It appears on the national rare species list (Briggs and Leigh 1996). Some reports state that its only Sydney records are in Mona Vale (including Katandra) and Deep Creek while other reports claim it to be also growing near Mt Colah.

B. brownii is a slender shrub growing to 2 metres, occasionally 3 metres, preferring moist sheltered places in woodland. It has soft, flat, oblong-lanceolate shaped leaves, about 40mm long and 10mm wide, which are dark green on top and paler underneath. The stem and leaves are covered in a dense felt of star-hairs.

  Being a member of the Euphorbiaceae family of plants, B. brownii is monoecious, having separate male and female flowers appearing on the same plant. These tiny, solitary flowers appear between May and July. 

Source - Katandra Bushland News (Summer 2023 edition)

B. brownii female flower

Male flower resembling a candle on a plate

Monotaxis linifolia

A tiny sprawling shrub growing to 30cm.

Ricinocarpos pinifolius

(Wedding Bush)

click on Ricinocarpos pinifolius name above to view more information on a separate page.