Zieria smithii

Common name: Sandfly Bush Family: Rutaceae
Author: Andrews. Botanical references: 1, 154, 265
Synonyms: Zieria lanceolata, Zieria arborescens (Sims.)
Known Hazards: None known
Range: Australia – New South Wales, Queensland, Tasmania, Victoria.
Habitat: Sandy forests or cleared areas near the coast152, also in humid forest valleys to elevated mountain ravines154.
Edibility Rating (1-5): 0 Medicinal Rating (1-5): 1
Systematics: From a UDSA Plants Database
Order: Sapindales. Rue family

Physical Characteristics

An evergreen shrub growing to 1.8m. . It is in leaf all year, in flower in April. The scented flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs). We rate it 0/5 for edibility and 1/5 for medicinal use.

The plant prefers light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It requires moist soil.

Habitats and Possible Locations

Woodland, Sunny Edge.

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal Uses

Relieves headaches, though in concentration it can cause headaches


Other Uses

Dye; Essential; Wood.

An essential oil obtained from the leaves has similar properties to rue, Ruta graveolens

154. The yield is about 0.4%154. The essential oil from rue is used in perfumery and as a food flavouring61. Rue was also formerly used as a strewing herb148. A yellow dye is obtained from the bark154. Wood – tough, yellow154.

Cultivation details

We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain, though judging by its native range it could succeed outdoors in the milder areas of the country, especially if plants are obtained from the colder provenances of its range. See the plants native habitat for ideas on its cultivation needs.


Seed – we have no information on this species but suggest sowing the seed in a warm greenhouse in the spring. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Consider giving the plants some protection from the cold for their first winter outdoors. Cuttings. We have no information but suggest trying cuttings of almost ripe wood, August in a frame.


No details on scent.