Flowers. Australian Plant Image Index, photo: Murray Fagg, Scottsdale Bush Heritage Reserve near Bredbo, NSW

Flowering plant. Photo: Don Wood, Carnarvon Bush Heritage Reserve, via Augathella, Qld

Flowering plants. Australian Plant Image Index, photo: Murray Fagg, near Condobolin, NSW

Flowering plants. Australian Plant Image Index, photo: Murray Fagg, Packsaddle, north of Broken Hill, NSW

Common Name

Tufted Bluebell




Perennial forb to 75cm tall.  Leaves alternating up the stems, rarely the lowermost opposite each other, 0.4-8cm long, 0.5-8mm wide, linear throughout or the lowermost leaves flat, hairless, sometimes the lower leaves slightly hairy, margins entire or with small teeth, flat or wavy.  Flowers mauve to blue, sometimes white, tubular, with 5 lobes, in open groups at the tops of the stems.

Differs from Wahlenbergia gracilenta, Wahlenbergia gracilis, and Wahlenbergia tumidifructa in that the free flower lobes  are 6-13mm long, from Wahlenbergia fluminalis and Wahlenbergia littoricola  in that the free lobes of the flower are less than twice as long as the tube, from Wahlenbergia graniticola and Wahlenbergia queenslandica in that the lower leaves are typically linear and hairless, from Wahlenbergia luteola in that all the leaves (except occasionally the lowermost)alternate up the stems, and from Wahlenbergia stricta subsp. alterna in that the sepals are 2-6mm long and the seed cases are top-shaped or semi-globular. 

Description and photo in G.M. Cunningham, WE Mulham, PL Milthorpe and J H Leigh (1981 and later printings) Plants of Western New South Wales page 627

PlantNET description:

Line drawings of flowers and fruiting bodies of seven species of Wahlenbergia in this key (but not Wahlenbergia graniticola, Wahlenbergia luteola, or Wahlenbergia stricta ssp. alterna) in Flora of South Australia 4th edition, Handbooks Committee on behalf of the South Australian Government (1986), Volume 3, page 1382