Common name: Grey Cottonhead


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.


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.

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.

Bold Park disruption

Banksia Carpark in Bold Park is currently closed to the public due to stormwater damage.

Read all notices ...

Floral clock debuts artistic new look

The much-loved Kings Park Floral Clock has debuted a whole new look with a modern floral makeover from an exciting artist.

Fire Ecology Burn

Researchers and bushland staff at Kings Park successfully carried out a scientific research burn in a section of Kings Park bushland earlier this month. 

New innovative AR experience launched at Kings Park

A new locally developed augmented reality experience has been launched at Kings Park in time for families to enjoy during these school holidays.

Read all news ...

Read about weather and warnings ...

All events …