Xerochrysum bracteatum
Common Name: everlasting flower
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Asteraceae
Native Range: Australia
Zone: 8 to 10
Height: 1.00 to 5.00 feet
Spread: 0.50 to 1.50 feet
Bloom Time: June to frost
Bloom Description: Yellow, orange, red, pink, white
Sun: Full sun
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Annual
Flower: Showy, Good Dried

Culture

Annual. Easily grown in average, dry to medium, well-drained soils in full sun. Tolerates light shade. Start seed indoors 6-8 weeks before last frost date. Set seedlings or purchased plants out after last frost date. Plants may self-seed in optimum growing conditions, but many of the cultivars will not come true from seed.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Xerochrysum bracteatum, commonly called strawflower, was formerly included in the genus Helichrysum or Bracteantha. It is a short-lived tender perennial or annual that is native to Australia where it grows in open grassland areas, often in sweeping drifts. In the St. Louis area, it is grown as an annual. It is considered to be one of the paper daises because it features daisy-like flowers (1-3” diameter) with central yellow disks surrounded by glossy, papery, rigid, petal-like bracts in yellow, orange, red, pink or white. Bracts have a straw-like texture, hence the common name. Although species plants may reach 5’ tall, the popular cultivars typically grow 2-3’ tall with some 12” tall dwarf varieties available. Blooms late spring to frost. Lance-shaped gray-green leaves (to 5” long). Strawflower is an everlasting (retains its color and shape as a dried flower) and is sometimes commonly called golden everlasting in reference thereto. It is commercially grown for the dried flower market. It is also a long-lasting fresh cut flower.

Genus name means dry-golden.

Specific epithet means having bracts.

Problems

No known serious insect or disease problems. Taller plants may need staking.

Garden Uses

Dwarf varieties in rock gardens, for edging or in containers or window boxes. Taller varieties in borders. Excellent in cutting gardens for both fresh cut and dried flowers.