Brachyscome is a genus of about 90 – 100 species, most of which occur only in Australia. Some species are also found in New Zealand and two occur in Papua. They are found in all mainland states but most occur in the east of the continent. They are generally annual or perennial herbs bearing typical “daisy”-type flowers. Contrary to popular belief, a daisy “flower” is not a single flower but a cluster of small flowers surrounded by petal-like ray florets.
There is some disagreement regarding the correct spelling of the generic name; some botanists omit the letter “s”.
B.angustifolia is a low, spreading perennial plant up to about 300 mm tall which often produces suckers from the roots. The leaves are linear and up to 50 mm long. The pink or mauve flower heads are about 15 – 20 mm diameter and occur on thin, leafless stalks. Flowers are seen mainly in spring but flowers may also occur sporadically at other times.
Two botanical varieties are recognised: var.angustifolia and var.heterophylla. The latter has lobed leaves in contrast to the entire leaves of var.angustifolia.
This species has been in cultivation for many years. It prefers moist soils in sun or semi shade.
Brachyscomes, generally, can be grown from either seed or cuttings but cuttings are probably more practical as seed may not be readily available. Cuttings of B.angustifolia strike very easily and established plants may also be divided to form new plants.
Photo: Australian Daisy Study Group