What's growing in the gardens?

The banks of the Lagoons below the Cafe deck have just been planted with 700 seedlings of Xerochrysum bracteatum, commonly known as Golden Everlasting Daisies.

We have planted a further 120 seedlings at the Sugar Cane wall and Timber Trees Arboretum for visitors to enjoy in the coming months.Golden Everlastings are a flowering plant from the Asteraceae family and is a widespread and variable species. They are available in other colours, however our local species are these bright yellow ones. You can see these growing in their natural setting at Slade Point Reserve and beside roads and the highway south of Koumala.

The flowers open with the sun and close in the evenings - a wonderful lesson for children to see how nature performs.

These Golden Everlasting Daisies brightly coloured bracts act as petals to attract insects. This plants serves as food for various butterfly larvae and moths, adult butterflies, native bees, grasshoppers and small beetles who also visit the flower heads.

Growing Golden Everlastings Daisies in your garden.

Whilst tolerant of drier conditions, this plant performs best with adequate moisture throughout the drier months – so extra watering in sandy soils will be required. Plant in autumn and see your plants flower quickly and extensively over winter and spring into early summer. Humidity and heavy rain creates ideal conditions for mould and rot to set in during Mackay’s wet summer and you may need to treat this plant as a short lived perennial or annual for best results.

The tiny seeds are dispersed by wind and germinate on disturbed ground. You may find seedlings ‘popping’ up in gardens if not heavily mulched.

Plant your Golden Everlasting Daisy in a sunny position with a small amount of slow release fertiliser. ‘Dead head’ spent flowers throughout the season to encourage new flowers to form – but leave some on the plant to allow seed to distribute and naturalise into your garden. Golden Everlasting Daisy will also do well in large pot.