Rhodanthe chlorocephala subsp. rosea

Common name: Everlasting, Paper Daisy

Family: ASTERACEAE

Everlasting habit in Kings Park. Photo: D. Blumer.Origin of Scientific Name

Rhodanthe – from the Greek rhodo, rose-coloured and anthos, a flower.

chlorocephala - from the Greek chloros, green and cephale, head, referring to the green outer bracts on the original type specimens.

rosea – meaning rose, rosy or pink.

Description

This erect annual herb grows 5 cm to 50 cm tall with terminal daisy flower heads from white to crimson and all variations in between. The flowers appear from August to November and generally have a yellow or black centre and grow to 6 cm across. The foliage is yellow-green to mid-green, sometimes with a blue tinge.

Distribution

The Everlasting is a native to Western Australia, growing predominantly on sandy soils in the semi arid region of the south. Refer to the distribution map for this species via the Department of Environment and Conservation's FloraBase online herbarium.

Flowering Season

August to November

Cultivation/Propagation

Everlastings are best sown direct in the ground from mid May to mid June. Prepare the ground as per a normal seedbed then scatter the seeds at about 100 to the square metre (or 1 gram per square metre) and rake into the soil. It is important to water well and keep moist for the 7-10 days to germination. Once established the seedlings should not require as much water, however it is important to maintain the moisture to achieve best results.

Regularly apply soluble, all-purpose fertiliser until flower buds start developing. Application of a slow release native blend 3-4 month fertiliser at the recommended rate prior to sowing is also recommended. They should not require any further fertiliser. Everlastings are attractive to aphids that gather around the flower buds and protection from slugs and snails when seedlings emerge may be required, but they are otherwise disease free.

Notes

Everlastings may be dried by hanging the flowers upside down after cutting, and will last for a long time. This is best done as the flowers first open.

In the garden they attract many bees and other pollinating insects. The flowers open fully in sunshine, but will close up in overcast or wet conditions, and at night.

The seed may be collected and stored in a dry area either in a hessian sack or a paper bag and are best collected towards the end of the growing season when the centre of the flower reveals white fluffy seeds.

By direct sowing Everlastings you can create streams of vibrant colour in your garden. Try mass planting them with a range of other native annual species for a rich palette of colour during spring.

View in Kings Park

This species can be viewed at the entry to the Western Australian Botanic Garden and in the gardens opposite Aspects of Kings Park gallery shop.