Cultivation Notes

Flannel Flower

Scientific Name: ACTINOTUS helianthii

Common Name: Flannel Flower

Alternative Common Name: Flannel Flower

Family: Apiaceae

Height: Up to 0.5m (1.5′) – sometimes taller


Description: Attractive perennial with soft, silver-grey leaves. Relatively easy to cultivate in sandy soils or in raised beds. Plants may not be long lived but, once established, will often “self-sow” so that new plants replace the originals. Good drainage is essential.

Flowers: Brilliant white star-shaped flowers of 5-8cm across, blooming in Sumer with flannel-like bracts beneath each flower.

Soil: Any well drained soils but prefers poor, sandy soils mixed with chunky sandstone.

Aspects: Well-drained sunny positions.

Habitat: Open forest or woodland, sandstone heathlands, usually on sand or sandstone on the coast and mountains of New South Wales and southern Queensland. Adaptable to other areas, given suitable conditions.

Growing: Soak seeds for 1 – 3 hours in a solution of soil wetting agent with Seed Starter granules added. Handy Hint: place the Seed Starter granules in a tea strainer suspended in the water to keep the seeds and granules separated. Easier for handling after the soaking. Then proceed as follows. In warm areas or in a glasshouse sow in small pots at any time. In frost prone areas, sow when danger of frost is over. Fill pots to 7cms (3″) deep. Sow seeds on surface, compress lightly and cover with light layer of sand. Add Wildflower Seed Starter granules to surface and water in. Keep soil moist, not wet. Cover with clear polythene to protect. Place in warm, shady position. Revmove polythene when germination starts.

Landscape: Gardens, pots, rockeries.

Cultivation: Germination will take 4-22 weeks, sometimes more. Transplant out to sunny, sandy position at 7 1/2 cms (3″) high. Once transplanted, cover soil with loose chips of sandstone to prevent drying out. Water in well and water regularly around roots until established then weekly in dry weather. Occasional light applications of slow release fertiliser may help. Protect from snails.

Seed Starter Required: Essential.