HELICHRYSUM bracteatum - Strawflower
 HELICHRYSUM bracteatum Strawflower 
 hel-i-kris’sum brak-te-a’tum Annual Easy

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.

 

Gardeners' Quotes

ON A SEED

This was the goal of the leaf and the root.
For this did the blossom burn its hour.
This little grain is the ultimate fruit.
This is the awesome vessel of power.

For this is the source of the root and the bud...
World unto world unto world remolded.
This is the seed, compact of God,
Wherein all mystery is enfolded.
Georgie Starbuck Galbraith, The New York Times, 1960