Common name: Grey Cottonhead

Family: HAEMODORACEAE

Conostylis candicans or Grey Cottonhead. Photo: D. Blumer.View image slideshow

Origin of Scientific Name

Conostylis - from Greek, conos; a cone and stylos; a column, referring to the conical base to the style of the flower.

candicans - shiny white, presumably a reference to the grey, hairy foliage.

Description

With striking grey foliage and vibrant yellow flowers, Conostylis candicans, or Grey Cottonhead, is a relative to the Kangaroo Paw (Anigozanthos) and is a compact plant with strappy leaves. Its flowers, which appear in winter through to early summer, grow in clusters on long thin stems.

Unlike most Australian native plants, the Grey Cottonhead thrives in salty, windy coastal environments. It is a hardy plant which, once established, can withstand periods of drought (although the flowering will suffer), but is not well suited to tropical climates. This perennial herb looks particularly effective when planted as a border, or en masse to create a grassland appearance.

Horticultural tips

  • The Grey Cottonhead is best planted in the cooler autumn and winter months in a full sun outlook. It is also suited to growing in pots.
  • Plant in free draining soil, applying a slow release fertiliser blend at the time of planting.
  • Once the flowers are spent, they can be removed along with any dying foliage to allow the plant to keep its vigour.
  • This plant is hardy but can be attacked by mealy bugs.

For more horticultural tips view our Plant Notes section.

View in Kings Park

Visit Kings Park to see the Grey Cottonhead at many locations, including the garden beds at the entrance to the Western Australian Botanic Garden and opposite Aspects of Kings Park gift 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.

Conostylis candicans bushy appearance. Photo: D. Blumer. Conostylis candicans in garden beds near Aspects of Kings Park. Photo: D. Blumer.

Biara Cafe temporary closure

Biara Cafe will be closing temporarily from 2 August - 19 September for refurbishment works.

Administration car park closure

There will be limited access to the BGPA Administration building and the Kings Park Education and Learning building from Wednesday 15 June 2022 for approximately 8 weeks, due to ongoing Water Corporation works.

Water Corporation works

The Water Corporation is replacing approximately 700 metres of ageing water pipes between Mount Eliza Reservoir and Bellevue Terrace in Kings Park.

Read all notices ...

New Bold Park Management Plan

The Bold Park Management Plan 2022 - 2027 has been published by BGPA after a period of extensive public consultation

Hort Couture - Community Art Project

Crochet and knitting enthusiasts - we want you!

It's that time of year again, when the wildflowers start to bloom and our thoughts turn to all things spring. In celebration of our gorgeous selection of WA wildflowers, we are running another of our famous community crocheting projects.

Ready, aim, restore! A new approach to define and achieve restoration targets

A team of researchers from Kings Park Science in Biodiversity and Conservation Science, the University of Western Australia (UWA) and Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Spain, have led the development of an approach for ecosystem restoration which connects scientific research, restoration policy, and on-the-ground action.

Read all news ...

Read about weather and warnings ...

All events …