|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
"Plants vary in their heat stress tolerance, not only from species to species, but also from cultivar to cultivar. In addition, unusual seasons-fewer or more hot days than normal-will invariably affect results in your garden, as will extremely dry or humid conditions," Dr. H. Marc Cathey, with Linda Bellamy, Heat-zone Gardening, How to choose plants that thrive in your region’s warmest weather.