Botany Photo of the Day
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February 16, 2016: Botany Photo of the Day will return this spring with a new format similar to the new UBC Botanical Garden web site. In the meantime, please enjoy the restored content!

Xerochrysum bracteatum

Xerochrysum bracteatum

Today we have a photo of Xerochrysum bracteatum, known commonly as straw flower or everlasting flower. This photo was taken by Anne Elliott (aka annkelliott@Flickr) back in May, and uploaded to the Botany Photo of the Day Flickr Pool. Thanks for sharing, Anne!

Native to Australia, Xerochrysum bracteatum (previously in the genus Helichrysum or Bracteantha) of the Asteraceae, can be either an annual or perennial species depending on conditions. Straw flower occurs in most states and territories of the country, along forest margins, in deserts, and in sub-alpine areas. This species grows up to a metre in height, has green-grey leaves, and produces its flowers from spring through the summer. The central disc of flowers is surrounded by an involucre of rigid, papery bracts of yellow, red, orange, pink, or white. The bracts retains their colour, hence the common name, everlasting flower. This species is commercially grown for the dried flower market, although it is also a long-lasting fresh cut flower.

Many cultivars of Xerochrysum bracteatum are available, and are easily grown in average, dry to medium, well-drained soils in full sun. Seeds can be sown indoors 6-8 weeks before last frost date, and can then be moved outdoors. To dry straw flowers, simply cut some from the garden and hang upside down in a dark, airy place for a few weeks.

1 Comment

Xerochrysum bracteatum was very common in Brazil, as an ornamental plant in house gardens.

It became invasive in wetlands, but it is not serious nor specially competitive with native species.

Today is rare in Brazil.

Celso Lago-Paiva

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