Olearia phlogopappa

Distribution Map
Family: Asteraceae
Distribution: Open forests, woodlands and heath of eastern New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania.
Common Name: Dusty daisy bush
Derivation of Name: Olearia....After Adam Olearius (Johann Gottfried Oelschlaeger) a 17th century botanical author
phlogopappa... From Greek phlox, flame or blaze and pappus, downy or hairy seed, referring to the reddish hairs on the seed.
Conservation Status: Not considered to be at risk in the wild.

General Description:

The genus Olearia is found in Australia, New Zealand and New Guinea and has about 130 species native to Australia. They are generally small to medium shrubs commonly known as "daisy bushes".

Olearia phlogopappa - white

Olearia phlogopappa - mauve
White and mauve forms of Olearia phlogopappa
Photos: Ivan Margitta; Jeff Irons

Olearia phlogopappa is usually a small shrub up to 1.5 metres high by a similar width but may be taller in some areas. The greyish green foliage is variable over the range of the species but leaves are typically oblong or narrow elliptical in shape, about 40 mm long and often with a dusty appearance on the upper surface. The well-displayed, daisy flower heads may be white, pink or mauve and occur in spring and early summer. The flower heads are about 20-25 mm in diameter.

With a few exceptions, olearias are not commonly seen in cultivation. O.phlogopappa is probably the best known species, particularly the mauve form which is widely available. It is a hardy shrub for well drained, moist soils in full sun or semi shade and can be very spectacular in flower. Like many species in the genus, it can become leggy and sparsely foliaged with age and annual pruning after flowering is recommended to restore vigour. The species is tolerant of at least moderate frost and, once established will tolerate extended dry conditions but is unlikely to look at its best unless ample water is available.

Propagation of O.phlogopappa may be carried out from seed but germination may be unreliable. Propagation from cuttings of current season's growth is usually not difficult.

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