Actinodium cunninghamii

Distribution Map
Family: Myrtaceae
Distribution: South west Western Australia.
Common Name: Albany daisy
Derivation of Name: Actinodium...From Greek actinis, a ray, and odes, like, referring to the petals which are arranged in a ray-like structure.
cunninghamii...After Alan Cunningham, 19th century botanist.
Conservation Status: Not considered to be at risk in the wild.

General Description:

Actinodium is a genus of only two species both occurring naturally only in south Western Australia. Both species have similar flowers whish are superficially similar to daisies. However, the genus is not a daisy and it is a member of the mytrle family. Its closest relatives are Darwinia, Chamelaucium and Verticordia.

Actinodium cunninghamii
Actinodium cunninghamii
Photo: Alfred Guhl

A.cunninghamii is a small shrub to about 0.5 metres with small stem-clasping leaves about 5 mm long. The flower heads occur mainly in spring and are daisy-like to about 40 mm diameter. The heads consist of clusters of small, pink, fertle flowers in the centre surrounded by white, strap-like and sterile flowers around the circumference.

Albany daisy has been cultivated by enthusiasts for many years but it cannot be regarded as a reliable, long-term garden plant. It requires excellent drainage and a semi shaded position protected from drying winds. Grafting onto a hardy rootstock (such as the related Darwinia citriodora) may produce a more reliable garden plant but there has been little work on this to date.

Like the related genus, Darwinia, seed of Actinodium is not easy to germinate. The species can, however, be grown fairly easily from cuttings.


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