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Brachyscome multifida

Cut-leaf Daisy

Family: Asteraceae

Brachyscome multifida, the Cut-leaf Daisy, is a hardy and colourful perennial. It develops into a dense, ground covering mound reaching a height of 30 centimetres with a diameter approaching a metre. Foliage is light green. In spring and summer plants are covered with mauve-pink flowers. In our cold climate garden plants usually die down in winter but return with vigour the following spring.

Brachyscome multifida is found in many parts of NSW as well as Queensland and Victoria.

In the garden

Brachyscome multifida is small enough to cultivate in most gardens and will make an impact out of all proportion to its size.

Over the years many forms with different flower colours have arrived on the nursery scene. ‘Break o’ Day’ is a popular form with purple flowers. This form is not as vigorous as the original Cut-leaf Daisy.

Propagation

Propagation from cuttings is rapid. We often prepare cuttings about 15 centimetres long and place one with other plants when establishing new gardens. We count on about 50% of these pieces taking root.

Other information

The type specimen was collected by Allan Cunningham in the Peel Valley area of central NSW in the mid 1830’s and named by Augustin Pyramus de Candolle (DC), a Swiss botanist.

The genus name is spelled Brachycome by some authors. Henri Cassini published the name Brachyscome in 1816, forming it from the classical Greek brachys (“short”) and kome (“hair”), a reference to the very short pappus bristles. Because the combining form of brachys in Greek compound words is brachy-, Cassini later corrected the spelling to Brachycome. Australian taxonomists still debate whether Cassini’s corrected spelling is admissible under the rules of botanical nomenclature. A proposal to conserve Brachycome was rejected in 1993 by the Committee for Spermatophyta.

By Warren and Gloria Sheather