Xanthosia is an Australian endemic genus of about 20 species of perennial herbs and small shrubs occurring in all mainland states except the Northern Territory. Xanthosia rotundifolia is one of 11 species found in Western Australia. The common name refers to the similarity of the arrangement of the flowers to the Southern Cross constellation.
Southern Cross is a small shrub – up to 0.7 metres high by 1 metre wide. The oval shaped leaves are about 30 mm long by 15 mm wide with serrated margins. The creamy white flowers occur in a cross- shaped arrangement and are usually seen during spring and summer but may also occur at other times.
X. rotundifolia is not common in cultivation but plants are sometimes available from specialist native plant nurseries. It will grow in a range of well drained soils in a sunny or partially shaded position.
Propagation can be carried out from seed which does not require any special pre-treatment. Cuttings are the usual propagation method using firm, current season’s growth.
Photo: Brian Walters