Flow­ers for the hot and dry

Wangaratta Chronicle - North East Regional Extra - - NEWS - with He­len van Riet

IT’S been an ex­cep­tion­ally dry win­ter. The long-term fore­cast is for a dry sum­mer into au­tumn. Some Indige­nous plants will pro­vide a re­ward­ing dis­play of colour and fresh­ness, even in such chal­leng­ing times. Com­mon ev­er­last­ing daisies are a main­stay filler that cope ex­tremely well with hot dry con­di­tions. At­trac­tive ei­ther as bed­ding plants or as un­der­storey fillers, Chrysocephalum apic­u­la­tum and C. semi­pap­po­sum are win­ners. They thrive in full sun to part shade. What’s in a name? “Chrysocephalum” is from Greek, chryso = golden and cephalus = headed. “Apic­u­la­tum” is from Latin mean­ing ‘end­ing abruptly in a short point’, re­fer­ring to the leaves. “Semi­pap­po­sum” is also from Latin. Semi = half and pap­pos = downy or fluffy, re­fer­ring to the in­di­vid­ual flow­ers be­ing white for two-thirds of their length. Four dis­tinct sub-species oc­cur in Vic­to­ria. In­ter­me­di­ate forms between C. semi­pap­po­sum and C. apic­u­la­tum ex­ist, and there are ex­treme forms of both species. Th­ese grey-leaved multi-headed daisies oc­cur through­out Aus­tralia. They may be com­mon, but they are also very beau­ti­ful. The com­bi­na­tion of grey leaves and bright yel­low flower heads is bril­liant and they thrive in cul­ti­va­tion. C. apic­u­la­tum is a dwarf, spread­ing, bed­ding plant. It flow­ers pro­fusely and al­most con­tin­u­ously for most of the year. It can be re­freshed by cut­ting back spent flower heads and will burst back with re­newed vigour with more clus­ters of golden blooms. C. semi­pap­po­sum is a sprawl­ing plant up to 40cm high and 60 cm wide. It is easy-care – need­ing only a heavy prune back to al­most ground level at the end of the flow­er­ing sea­son. From time to time, seedlings may pop up in the gar­den. They may turn out to be ei­ther short, tall or in between. You can take your chances on whether they will be short, tall or in between and just ‘wait and see’. Al­ter­na­tively, to en­sure that you get a par­tic­u­lar form, take cut­tings of firm young growth. They will strike eas­ily and quickly.

◆ VI­BRANT: Com­mon Ev­er­last­ing - Chyr­socephalum apic­u­la­tum - dwarf, spread­ing form.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.