Information on Gland Flowers


Gland flowers are members of the genus Adenanthos and include the woolly bush and coastal jug-flower. They are small shrubs and small trees with flowers that attract nectar-seeking birds, which may be the primary pollinators.


French botanist Labillardiere originally described the genus in 1805. The name Adenanthos comes from the Greek words "aden," meaning gland, and "anthos," meaning flower.

Native Range

Most species of gland flowers are native to southwestern Australia. Adenanthos macropodianus is native to Kangaroo Island, and A. terminalis has a slightly wider range than the other species.


They naturally grow in dry rocky, sandy and clay soils, except A. obovatus and A. detmoldii, which grow in moist, swampy areas.


Gland flowers are tube-shaped and can grow singly or as a many flowered inflorescence, depending on the species. The nectar gland at the base of the ovary is where the plant gets its name.


Most gland flowers prefer full sun to partial shade. They need fast-draining soil with periodic applications of a slow-release fertilizer.


  • Association of Societies for Growing Australian Plants
  • Flora Base
  • Bushland Flora

Who Can Help

  • Australian National Herbarium: Adenanthos
Keywords: adenanthos, wooly bush, jug flower

About this Author

Brian Albert has been in the publishing industry since 1999. He is an expert in horticulture, with a focus on aquatics and tropical plants like orchids. He has successfully run an aquatic plant business for the last five years. Albert's writing experience includes the Greater Portland Aquarium Society newsletter and politics coverage for a variety of online journals.