Thursday, June 7, 2012

Yellow Buttons

Chrysocephalum apiculatum 
(Helichrysum apiculatum)
This sturdy little perennial daisy begins to flower each year in spring, and continues through summer and autumn. These plants were still at it, in Franke Scrub last week.

A daisy head is really a bunch of tiny flowers. This can be seen from this photo, where one head is still largely in bud. In the other heads, the florets have opened up and we can distinguish each one’s five tiny petals.

The species grows in every state and territory of Australia, usually in sunny open grasslands, where it happily survives frosts, and droughts.
The plants vary from district to district. Some are sprawling groundcovers, some are bushy, and some are slender little plants. Leaf colour varies from grey to the blue-green of our local plants.
Each type is adapted to its own local soil. Many of the plants supplied in nurseries come from areas where the soil is light and sandy, and usually come with the information that they need well-drained soils. Yet the species grows naturally on our clayey red and black soils. Obviously, for best results we should be growing plants of local provenance.

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