Ptilotus is a genus of over one hundred species of plants native to Australia and the Malesian islands of Flores and Timor. The plant in today’s photographs is a seedling selection of Ptilotus exaltatus, a widespread plant in Australia commonly known as pink mulla mulla, tall mulla mulla or showy foxtail. Habit photographs of this species from the amaranth family are available from the preceding link or here: Ptilotus exaltatus.
As it is a seedling selection propagated via seed of Ptilotus exaltatus, Ptilotus ‘Joey’ may fall into the trap of being too variable to be considered a “good” cultivar (see this opinion piece, “Not What They Seem” by Tony Lord). Sharon Cohoon cautions that Ptilotus ‘Joey’ is likely to have variability compared to the tissue-cultured Ptilotus ‘Platinum Wallaby’ in her posting on Ptilotus ‘Platinum Wallaby’ vs Ptilotus ‘Joey’. Add into the mix that Benary suggests that Ptilotus ‘Joey’ is a trademark (cultivar names can’t be trademarks), it seems like it might take a while (yet again) to sort out what the proper horticultural name for this entity is. One day, perhaps, intellectual property law, commercial law and horticultural naming conventions will become crystal clear (see the paragraph on Why do we need stable plant names?. Perhaps.
Today’s photographs are courtesy of UBC’s Randal Mindell. As you’ve likely surmised from following some of the above links, these close-up photographs are a detailed perspective on the flower spike. To explain what is in the photographs, I’ll quote directly from one of the links above (Electronic Flora of South Australia): “perianth [outer parts of the flower] to c. 2 cm long; perianth-segments plumose [feathery] with loose denticulate-nodose [with nodes and a finely-toothed margin] white hairs and dendroid [tree-like] hairlets beneath, the glabrous [smooth] apices [tops] fading to rosy and stramineous [straw-like]”.