#16 Coronidium scorpioides – an everlasting

IMG_2105gCommon name Button Everlasting, this glistening little gold jewel lights up the dense foliage along the track to the Red Shed. This plant belongs to the Asteraceae (daisy) family along with Acaena novae-zelandiae, Common Buzzy, Xerochrysum papillosum, and the Olearia species, as well as a couple of others that I have yet to document.

According to “Tasmanian Plant Names Unravelled” (my new bible) by Mark, Annie and Hans Wapstra, the genus name Coronidium comes from the Greek word for “crown, referring to the short pappus crown persisting on the fruit after the bristles have fallen off.”  A pappus is a “structure made of scales, bristles, or featherlike hairs that is attached to the seeds (called cypselae) of plants of the composite family and that aids in dispersal by the wind” (from dictionary.com). You can see a close-up photo of a pappus in my post about the paper daisy.

IMG_2135gThe genus has 17 species endemic to eastern Australia, but only one found in Tasmania. The species name scorpioides “describing the curling outer flower bracts” (scorpion-like?).  This same species is common in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales where I live, and is flowering now (March).

IMG_2105sgAn image of the flower-head, zoomed in.  The involucral bracts (outer, paler structures) are quite pungent (ending in a rigid sharp point – OUCH!)

According to PlantNET, this species has a synonym of Helichrysum scorpioides, originally named by Labillardiere.  In 2008, Coronidium was recognised as a new genus by Paul G. Wilson from the Western Australian Herbarium. See “Coronidium, a new Australian genus in the Gnaphalieae (Asteraceae)“. The author describes the morphological differences that justify some Helichrysum species (including scorpioides) being categorised in the new genus.



This entry was posted in Native Plants of Maatsuyker Island and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to #16 Coronidium scorpioides – an everlasting

  1. Pingback: My Maatsuyker Island Plant List | MaatsuykerDreaming

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