Common name: Blue Lace-flower

Family: ARALIACEAE

Blue Lace Flower. Photo: D. Blumer.View image slideshow

Origin of Scientific Name

Trachymene – (Greek) Trachys – rough; and mene – moon.

coerulea – (Latin) deep sky blue.

Description

Trachymene coerulea is an erect annual herb, growing to about 1 metre high by 0.8 metres wide. It produces a stunning display of pale to deep blue flower heads, made up of many small flowers, from October to January. 

The Blue Lace-flower is common and widespread in the Southwest of Western Australia from Dongara to Augusta. It occurs along the Perth coast on limestone and dunes extending inland into forest and woodland areas and also to off-shore islands particularly Rottnest and Garden Island where the species is locally abundant. As such it is also known as Rottnest Island Daisy.

In Kings Park and Botanic Garden, Trachymene is grown in beds with other late flowering annuals such as Xerochrysum bracteatum, Podolepis and Waitzia species and will bring height to flower displays. This spring/summer-flowering annual also complements Pink Everlastings (Rhodanthe species), as it flowers later and extends the display period.

Trachymene coerulea subspecies leucopetala is a white flowering form of similar habit and cultivation requirements; however, it is not as commonly distributed, being limited to the Geraldton Sandplains and Central West Coast regions.

Horticultural tips

  • Grow from seed sown in May/June. Seed may be sown in seed trays and pricked out when small (two leaf stage) or direct-sown into the garden.
  • When small, some protection from snails will need to be in place.
  • Adapts readily to cultivation in freely draining acidic or slightly alkaline soils, in full sun to semi-shaded sites. Young plants need to have moist soils in order to achieve sturdy growth.
  • Tip pruning will encourage more flower heads and produce a bushier plant.

For more horticultural tips view our Plant Notes section.

View in Kings Park

Visit Kings Park and Botanic Garden to see Trachymene coerulea at the entry to the Western Australian Botanic Garden and in garden beds surrounding Aspects of Kings Park gallery shop (refer to map).

Want more information?

Refer to the profile for this plant on the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions' FloraBase online herbarium.

Trachymene coerulea blooms. Photo: D. Blumer. Trachymene coerulea in situ. Photo: D. Blumer. Trachymene coerulea in bushland. Photo: D. Blumer.

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