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Sturt's Desert Rose

"The Desert Rose is the state flower of the Northern Territory"

Pretty mauve petals with red bases forming a contrasting centre in each flower

 

Sturt's Desert Rose Gossypium sturtianumSturt's Desert Rose - (Gossypium sturtianum)

Sturts Desert Rose has been known by many names like the Australian Cotton, River Rose and Cotton Rosebush. It grows within rocks and slopes on rocky ground you will find it dry creek beds. The plant has dark green leaves often with black stipples with mauve petals with red bases forming a contrasting centre in each flower. It is to be found in the southern part of the Northern Territory.

The Sturts Desert Rose is a member of the hibiscus family and is very tolerant to light frosts and drought when cultivated it responds well to moderate pruning and watering and is suitable in areas of low to moderate rainfall. The flowers do close soon after picking, so the life as a cut flower is limited.

The Sturts Desert Rose has been known by many names like the Australian Cotton, River Rose and Cotton Rosebush. The plant grows within rocks and slopes on rocky ground you will find it dry creek beds.

The plant has dark green leaves often with black stipples with mauve petals with red bases forming a contrasting centre in each flower. It is to be found in the southern part of the Northern Territory.

The species was first collected by Captain Charles Sturt (1795-1869) from the creek beds within the Barrier Range while is was on his discovery journey to central Australia in 1844-45.

When in its natural habitat the Sturt's Desert Rose, forms a compact shrub which grows to about a metre high, however when cultivated can reach 2 meters.The leaves are a darker green and mostly have black stipples and are oval in shape and in the vicinity of 5 cm long. The petals are mauve in colour and are approximately 5 cm long and have bright red centres which form a contrast in each flower. While flowering is not strictly seasonal it usually reaches peak later in the winter months.

Sturt's Desert Rose grows naturally on rocky or sloppy areas, or can be found in dried out creek beds in the south of the Northern Territory.

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