Schoenia filifolia

Distribution Map
Family: Asteraceae
Distribution: Widespread in south Western Australia in grassland and woodland.
Common Name: Showy everlasting
Derivation of Name: Schoenia.... After Johannes Schoen, a botanical illustrator in the 19th century.
filifolia...From Latin filum, a thread and folium, a leaf, referring to the long, narrow leaves of this species.
Conservation Status: Not considered to be at risk in the wild.

General Description:

Schoenia is a small genus of five species, several of which were formerly classified in the genus Helichrysum. Schoenia filifolia consists of three recognised subspecies, two of which were previously classified as Helichrysum filifolium and H.subulifolium:

  • ssp.filifolia (formerly Helichrysum filifolium).
  • ssp.subulifolia (formerly Helichrysum subulifolium).
  • ssp.arenicola.
Schoenia filifolia ssp. subulifolia
Schoenia filifolia ssp. subulifolia
Photo: Australian Daisy Study Group

Schoenia filifolia is a compact, branching annual species up to about 0.4 metres high. It has long, linear leaves to around 100 mm long. The flower heads occur singly at the ends of the stems mainly in spring and summer and are up to 40 mm in diameter comprising lemon-yellow papery bracts around a yellow centre. Ssp.subulifolia tends to have longer leaves and larger flower heads than ssp.filifolia.

This is a popular plant in cultivation, particularly ssp.subulifolia, because of its very colourful display, especially in massed plantings. It is suited to most temperate areas and prefers well drained soils in a sunny position.

Plants may be propagated from seed but germination can sometimes be unreliable. Seed should be sown in late autumn or early winter for spring flowering Seedlings should be protected from frost and should flower within 3-4 months from sowing. The species can also be grown from cuttings.

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