Ozothamnus ledifolius

Common Name: kerosene bush 
Type: Broadleaf evergreen
Family: Asteraceae
Native Range: Tasmania, Australia
Zone: 8 to 9
Height: 3.00 to 5.00 feet
Spread: 3.00 to 5.00 feet
Bloom Time: June to July
Bloom Description: White
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Hedge
Leaf: Evergreen
Other: Winter Interest
Tolerate: Drought, Dry Soil


Winter hardy to USDA Zones 8-9 (possibly Zone 7 with protected location and winter root mulch) where it is easily grown in acidic, sandy, dry to moderately moist, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Tolerates drought. Soils should be allowed to dry between regular applications of water. Stems may be pruned after flowering to help maintain plant appearance.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Ozothamnus ledifolius, commonly known as kerosene plant, is a small, dense, evergreen shrub of the composite family that typically grows in a bushy rounded form to 3-5’ tall and as wide. It is native to alpine areas above 2500’ in Tasmania. Short, upright stems are clad with tiny, narrow, aromatic, dark green leaves (to 3/4” long) with rolled margins. Leaf aroma is more pronounced in warm weather. Both young stems and leaf undersides are sticky, downy and yellow. Tiny white flowers in terminal clusters (corymbs to 1 1/4” across) bloom from reddish buds in summer.

Helichrysum ledifolium is a synonym.

Genus name comes from the Greek words ozos meaning branch and thamnos meaning shrub.

Specific epithet comes from Ledum (genus in the Rhododendron family) and folia meaning having leaves, in reference to a purported resemblance between the leaves of the within plant and those of Labrador tea (Rhododendron groenlandicum) or marsh rosemary (Rhododendron palustre).

Common name of kerosene plant is in reference to the highly flammable leaves of this plant.


No serious insect or disease problems.


Borders. Rock gardens. Low hedge.