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.
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, fertile 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.
Photo: Alfred Guhl