ⓘ Blue brother. Conospermum caeruleum, commonly known as blue brother, is a shrub in the family Proteaceae and is endemic to the south west of Western Australia. ..

Blue brother

ⓘ Blue brother

Conospermum caeruleum, commonly known as blue brother, is a shrub in the family Proteaceae and is endemic to the south west of Western Australia. It is a prostrate shrub with small, dense heads of blue, rarely pink flowers and usually grows in heavy soils subject to flooding.


1. Description

It grows as a prostrate or straggly shrub usually growing to a height of about 0.5–1.0 metre 2–3 ft and a spread of up to 2 metres 7 ft. The leaves are clustered at the base of the stem, have a stalk 5–60 millimetres 0.2–2 in and a leaf blade that is thread-like to egg-shaped and 14–148 millimetres 0.6–6 in. The leaves have prominent veins and end abruptly in a sharp point. The flowers are arranged in dense clusters of up to 18 tube-like blue flowers, each about 5–8 millimetres 0.2–0.3 in long. Flowers appear between July and October and are followed by the fruit which is a nut about 2 millimetres 0.08 in long and 2–2.5 millimetres 0.08–0.1 in wide.


2. Taxonomy

Conospermum caeruleum was first formally described by Robert Brown and the description was published in Transactions of the Linnean Society of London from a specimen collected near "King Georges Sound, west coast of New Holland". The specific epithet caeruleum is a Latin word meaning "sky-blue".

Six subspecies are recognised:

  • Conospermum caeruleum subsp. marginatum Meisn. E.M. Benn.
  • Conospermum caeruleum R.Br. subsp. caeruleum
  • Conospermum caeruleum subsp. contortum E. M. Benn.
  • Conospermum caeruleum subsp. spathulatum Benth. E.M. Benn.
  • Conospermum caeruleum subsp. oblanceolatum E. M. Benn.
  • Conospermum caeruleum subsp. debile Meisn. E.M. Benn.

3. Distribution and habitat

Conospermum caeruleum occurs from Busselton to east of Albany in the Avon Wheatbelt, Esperance, Geraldton Sandplains, Jarrah Forest, Mallee, Swan Coastal Plain and Warren biogeographical regions of Western Australia growing on sand, sandy peat, stony clay, laterite or granite in areas that are wet in winter.

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