Actinotus minor

Lesser flannel flower

Family: Apiaceae

It is a spreading perennial wiry herb, erect to spreading horizontally, 15–50 cm high, with long slender stems.

A common plant growing in moist areas in heathland and dry sclerophyll forest on sandy soils, confined generally to the Greater Sydney area, from Ourimbah, south to Milton and Robertson (central and south coast subdivisions).

The leaves are grey-green in colour and divided. A term “partite” is applied where a structure is divided into distinct parts. The tissue of the leaves divides into 3, with each division having 3 distinct lobes or segments (3-partite); overall leaves are 2 cm long.

The general flower structure resembles a daisy. However, this plant is in the Apiaceae family where flowers are typically arranged in umbels.

In this genus, the umbel is surrounded by petal-like bracts with a flannel texture.

Umbels are an umbrella-like arrangement of flowers where all flowers are set in a circular arrangement on a single peduncle. The umbels are to about 1 cm across and consist of around 50 very small 5-sepaled white flowers where the outer flowers are male, and inner flowers bisexual. The bracts are up to 1 cm long by about 0.1 cm wide and are bright white with dark tips and hairy.

The hairy egg-shaped fruit segments (mericarps) are 2 to 3mm long.

In the garden

Little cultivation details are known. However, it is known to be cultivated. Guidance could likely be taken by reviewing the profile for Actinotus forsythii where germination of seeds using smoked-water has been successfully undertaken by Lloyd Hedges at Menai Group.

This plant has been seen for sale at Sutherland Shire Council Nursery (and see references below).

Likely needs a fast draining sandy soil to do well. Can form a dainty groundcover in gardens.


No propagation details are known and assume the same as for Actinotus helianthi.

Other information

Regenerates from seed in large numbers after fire.

Actinotus – referring to “rays“, “furnished with rays” and “radius” (Gk. ακτίνο / ακτίνος).
minor – Latin for “lesser” – having much smaller flowers compared to the more well know famous flannel flower – Actinotus helianthi.

Not considered to be at risk in the wild.


By Jeff Howes