|HELICHRYSUM bracteatum - Strawflower|
Asteraceae, native to Australia.
Germination: Best sown indoors 4-6 weeks before planting out. Sow at 60-70° with no cover as light aids in germination. Expect germination in 7-10 days. Seeds may also be sown outdoors after all danger of frost is past.
Growth: Transplant seedlings when there are at least two sets of true leaves. Site seedlings 9-15 inches apart in full sun in an alkaline, porous, well-drained soil. It has only a moderate requirement for water and it loves long, hot summers. Pinch plants early on to promote a tight habit.
Appearance and Use: The mid- to late summer flowers add interest to borders and rock gardens. The flowers can be cut for use both fresh and dried. This 12-30 inch, rounded plant has narrow, green leaves and wiry flower stems. The 2- 2 1/2 diameter, rounded flower heads have a center of non-showy fertile florets that are ringed with showy, papery-textured bracts in shades of red, salmon, purple, yellow, pink, or white.
NASA Seeds in Space
"Planting a garden of annuals is like discovering the fountain of youth-at least for a season. Their bright flowers remain relatively unchanged until they are snuffed out by frost."