Helichrysum is the most popular of the ‘everlasting’ flowers which look like double Daisies and bear strawy petals. It is popularly called the Straw Flower or Immortelle, and is prepared for indoor decoration by cutting just before the flowers are fully open. Tie the stems in bunches and hang upside down in a cool place away from sunlight.
VARIETIES: H. bracteatum is available as both dwarf and tall varieties in a bewildering array of colours. Amongst the dwarfs the glistening scarlet ‘Hot Bikini’ (1 ft) has the brightest flowers. For a mixture of colours for bedding and cutting, choose ‘Bright Bikini’. Buy ‘Monstrosum Double Mixed’ if you want large plants – the 2 in. flowers are borne on 3ft stems.
SITE & SOIL: Any well-drained garden soil will do – thrives best in full sun.
PLANT DETAILS: Height 1 or 3 ft. Spacing 1 ft. Flowering period July – September.
PROPAGATION: Sow seeds in April where they are to flower – thin to required spacing. In cold districts treat as a half hardy annual.