Plant of the Month – February 2015


(Calocephalus citreus)


(Photos: E. Cousins; habit, side view, flower close-up; Cape Jervis)

The clumps of this plant that we have seen around Cape Jervis grow to about 20-30cm high. They look silvery-grey, possibly because of the small, white hairs on the leaves and stems. Stems themselves are slender, wiry and upright, growing in a tuft from the base. Narrow leaves are arranged opposite each other along the stems; they get progressively smaller the closer they get to the top. Between September and March, you’ll notice the lemon beauty heads themselves, sitting at the top of the plants: golden globe-like clusters of flowers, to 14mm long in total. Although lemon beauty heads don’t appreciate heavy disturbance such as urban development, grazing stock, or fertilizer use, they would make an excellent rockery plant: they require little watering, tolerate full sun or part shade and most soil conditions, are fast growing, long lived, and very hardy!          (See Carolyn’s Corner in Cape Jervis Courier for a story about our trip to find these locally.)