Rhodanthe anthemoides

Distribution Map
Family: Asteraceae
Distribution: Widespread from coast to alpine areas of Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania.
Common Name: Chamomile sunray
Derivation of Name: Rhodanthe....From Greek rhodon, a rose and anthos, a flower, presumably referring to the flower colour of some species.
anthemoides...Similar to the genus Anthemis.
Conservation Status: Not considered to be at risk in the wild.

General Description:

Rhodanthe is a genus of 46 species, most of which were formerly classified under other genera (mainly Helipterum but also Podotheca and Waitzia). Rhodanthe anthemoides was previously known as Helipterum anthemoides.

Rhodanthe anthemoides

Rhodanthe anthemoides
Rhodanthe anthemoides
Photo: Australian Daisy Study Group

Rhodanthe anthemoides is a small, perennial species up to about 0.3 metres high by about 0.6 metres wide. It has small, narrow, greyish-green leaves up to 25 mm long. The flower heads occur singly at the ends of the stems and are 20 - 30 mm in diameter with yellow centres surrounded by white, papery bracts. Flowers occur over a long period between winter and early autumn.

This species is becoming popular in cultivation. It is suited to temperate areas, preferably in semi shade and well drained soils. However, forms from alpine areas may not succeed at lower elevations. Plants may become untidy after a few years but the appearance is improved by cutting back after flowering.

A number of selected forms of R.anthemoides are coming into cultivation and further selections can be anticipated. Two popular cultivars are "Paper Baby" and "Paper Cascade", both with red buds. Another good selection is "Paper Star", a compact form suited to garden borders. All forms of R.anthemoides are excellent subjects for containers.

Propagation from seed can be carried out without any pretreatment but cuttings usually give more reliable results. Named forms should only be propagated from cuttings.

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