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Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: Core eudicots
Cladus: Rosids
Cladus: Eurosids II
Ordo: Myrtales

Familia: Myrtaceae
Subfamilia: Myrtoideae
Tribus: Chamelaucieae
Genus: Chamelaucium
Species: C. axillare – C. brevifolium – C. ciliatum – C. confertiflorum – C. drummondii – C. erythrochlorum – C. floriferum – C. forrestii – C. gracile – C. heterandrum – C. lullfitzii – C. marchantii – C. megalopetalum – C. micranthum – C. orarium – C. pauciflorum – C. repens – C. roycei – C. uncinatum – C. virgatum – C. xanthocladum

Chamelaucium Desf., Mém. Mus. Hist. Nat. 5: 39. (1819)

Type species: Chamelaucium ciliatum Desf., Mém. Mus. Hist. Nat. 5: 40. (1819)


Decalophium Turcz., Bull. Soc. Imp. Naturalistes Moscou 20(1): 153 (1847)
Type species: Decalophium pauciflorum Turcz., Bull. Soc. Imp. Naturalistes Moscou 20(1): 154 (1847)


Desfontaines, R.L. 1819. Mémoires du Muséum d'Histoire Naturelle 5: 39–44, pl. 3B, 4.p.39
Marchant, N.G. 2019. Circumscription of Chamelaucium (Myrtaceae: Chamelaucieae), with validation of six species names and two new combinations. Nuytsia 30: 317-334. PDF. Reference page.
Chamelaucium in: Australian Plant Census (APC) 2018. IBIS database, Centre for Australian National Biodiversity Research, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria. Accessed: 2018 Apr. 29.
Govaerts, R. et al. 2021. Chamelaucium in World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2021 Oct. 4. Reference page.
International Plant Names Index. 2018. Chamelaucium. Published online. Accessed: Apr. 29 2018. 2018. Chamelaucium. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2018 Apr. 29.

Vernacular names
English: Waxflowers

Chamelaucium, also known as waxflower, is a genus of shrubs endemic to south western Western Australia. They belong to the myrtle family Myrtaceae and have flowers similar to those of the tea-trees (Leptospermum). The most well-known species is the Geraldton wax, Chamelaucium uncinatum, which is cultivated widely for its large attractive flowers.


Plants of the genus Chamelaucium are woody evergreen shrubs ranging from 15 cm (6 in) to 3 m (10 ft) high. The leaves are tiny to medium-sized and arranged oppositely on the stems. They contain oil glands and are aromatic,[1] often giving off a pleasant aroma when crushed. The flowers are small and have five petals, ten stamens, and are followed by small hardened fruit.[2]

The genus was first defined by French botanist René Louiche Desfontaines in 1819.[3] The derivation of the name is unclear. They are commonly known as waxplants,[1] or wax flowers from the waxy feel of the petals.[2] Fourteen species are currently recognised within the genus. It gives its name to a number of closely related genera, collectively known as the Chamelaucium alliance within the family Myrtaceae; larger members include Verticordia, Calytrix, Darwinia, Micromyrtus, Thryptomene and Baeckea.[4]

Species include:[5]

Chamelaucium axillare F.Muell. ex Benth. – Esperance waxflower
Chamelaucium brevifolium Benth.
Chamelaucium ciliatum Desf.
Chamelaucium confertiflorum Domin
Chamelaucium drummondii (Turcz.) Meisn.
Chamelaucium gracile F.Muell.
Chamelaucium heterandrum Benth.
Chamelaucium marchantii Strid
Chamelaucium megalopetalum F.Muell. ex Benth – large waxflower
Chamelaucium micranthum (Turcz.) Domin
Chamelaucium pauciflorum (Turcz.) Benth.
Chamelaucium uncinatum Schauer – Geraldton waxflower, Geraldton wax
Chamelaucium virgatum Endl.

Distribution and habitat

Restricted to the southwest of Western Australia, Chamelaucium species grow most commonly in heathland communities growing on sand near the coast or inland, and in granite outcrops. Some grow in more semi arid climates.[2]

In cultivation, they do well in dryer climates with good drainage and sunny aspect. They are hardy to frost and drought, although sensitive to Phytophthora cinnamomi.[2] The best known and most widely cultivated member of the genus by far is C. uncinatum, which is widely grown in gardens across Southern Australia, and for the cut flower industry in the USA and Israel.[6]


"Chamelaucium". FloraBase. Western Australian Government Department of Parks and Wildlife.
Elliot RW, Jones DL, Blake T (1984). Encyclopaedia of Australian Plants Suitable for Cultivation:Volume 3 - Ce-Er. Port Melbourne: Lothian Press. pp. 15–16. ISBN 0-85091-167-2.
"Chamelaucium Desf". Australian Plant Name Index (APNI), IBIS database. Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research, Australian Government.
"Chamelaucium and its Relatives - Background". Australian Native Plants Society (Australia). Retrieved 25 September 2010.
"Chamelaucium". The Plant List. 19 November 2012.

Stewart, Angus (2001). Gardening on the Wild Side. Sydney: ABC Books. p. 145. ISBN 0-7333-0791-4.

"Chamelaucium uncinatum". Australian Native Plants Society (Australia). Archived from the original on 2007-09-01. Retrieved 2008-04-12.
Wilson, Peter G., O'Brien, Marcelle M., Gadek, Paul A., and Quinn, Christopher J. 2001. "Myrtaceae Revisited: A Reassessment of Infrafamilial Groups". American Journal of Botany 88 (11): 2013–2025. Available online (pdf file).

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