Scientific Name: TRACHYMENE coerulea
Common Name: Blue Rottnest Island Daisy
Alternative Common Name: Blue Lace Flower, Australian Lace Flower
Height: 1.0m (3′)
Width: 0.5m (20″)
Description: Small annual shrub with long-stemmed blue – mauve flowers among pale green leaves. Easily grown from seed sown in Winter. Requires little attention.
Flowers: Attractive long-stemmed soft blue to mauve flowers in pin-cushion shaped clusters up to 7cm (3″) across, in Spring and Summer. Beautiful in a garden or in pots. Excellent as long-lasting cut flowers.
Soil: Any well-drained soil type, including limestone – with some compost. Mix 3 parts clean, moist sandy soil to 1 part peat or light compost. Fill pots or seed trays to within 2.5 cm (1″) of the top. Thoroughly wet the soil and compress.
Aspects: Open sun to part-shaded positions. Adapts to dry weather but can be frost-tender.
Habitat: Has been widely grown in many areas within and outside Australia.
Growing: Sow in warm areas anytime. In frost prone areas when danger of frost is over. Sow seeds thinly on the surface of pots or trays. Sprinkle some soil lightly over the seeds but do not bury them. Keep soil moist and cover the pot with clear polythene. Place pots in a warm, shaded position to germinate -7 to 21 days. Remove polythene when germination starts. Water seedlings regularly until established. Protect from snails and slugs. Thin out seedlings if they are crowded.
Landscape: In Open Gardens, Rockeries, Large Pots or TubsOnce the seedlings reach about 5cm (2″), transplant to the garden or rockery – at least 30cm (1′) apart – or into or large, deep pots or tubs. Water in well. Give them as much sun as possible.
Cultivation: Water in well, water regularly in dry weather. Pinch out the shoot tips when plants are 5-10cm (2″-4″) high to force branching and more flowers. Apply occasional light dressings of low phosphate liquid fertiliser. Drought tolerant but best if watered twice a week in dry weather. In glasshouses or humid conditions ventilate and reduce watering. After flowering the plant will die. Prepare for soil re-planting next Winter.
Seed Starter Required: Recommended.