Cassinia is a genus of about 25 species most of which are endemic to Australia but several occur in New Zealand. They are generally woody shrubs with aromatic foliage.
Cassinia aureonitens is usually an erect, open shrub to about 3-4 metres high. The linear to narrow elliptic leaves are about 80 mm long, dark green on the upper surface and paler underneath. The small flowers occur in dense clusters at the ends of the branches and are bright yellow in colour and are usually seen from late spring to mid summer.
Cassinia, generally, is not widely cultivated as the plants tend to be straggly in growth habit, although they do respond to regular pruning to maintain a more bushy shape. They are generally quick growing but past their best in 2 to 4 seasons. They are easily propagated, however, so replacement plants can be readily available. C.aureonitens is one worth cultivating because of its conspicuous and colourful flowers which are well displayed. It should be adaptable to most well drained soils and will grow in sun or partial shade. The species is tolerant of at least moderate frost.
Propagation may be carried out from seed which usually germinates well without pretreatment. Cuttings of firm, current season’s growth strike readily.
Photo: Brian Walters