Podolepis jaceoides, the Showy Copper Wire Daisy, is an herbaceous plant (daisy) with a perennial rootstock. Few or many stems arise from the rootstock annually and reach a height of about 0.5 centimetres. The number is probably dependent on weather conditions.
It has a very large natural distribution; found in all botanical subdivisions of NSW, in scattered patches in some parts (largely absent between Griffith, the Victorian border and Mildura, and the very north-west corner of the state). It has a scattered distribution through Victoria, but found over most of the state. It has a scattered distribution through Queensland, across large parts of the state, north to about Clermont. It is found in Tasmania sporadically as well as the islands of Bass Strait. It is found mostly in the south-east of South Australia, west to about Fowlers Bay and as far north as Gammon Ranges National Park.
It is found in a range of habitats including dry sclerophyll woodlands, heathlands and shrublands, as well as open paddocks and regenerating disturbed areas.
Young stems are hairy.
Podolepis spp. have simple leaves, produced both basally (in a rosette) and on raised flowering stems (cauline) – which are alternate. In this species, the ground-basal leaves are numerous, up to 20 cm long, oblanceolate, entire and glossy green. Stem (cauline) leaves are lanceolate and stem-clasping, to 5 cm long and about 1 cm wide, glossy green and and hairy beneath.
Podolepis spp. are in the daisy family and therefore produce flowers in an inflorescence called a capitulum (often referred to as a ‘head’). This is an evolved structure where a large number of modified flowers (florets) are grouped together to look like one flower. The Sunflower (Helianthus annuus) would be the most grandiose example. The ‘petals’ of the capitula are actually ‘ray florets’ which contain a floret hidden inside the elongated ‘petal’ which is actually an extended limb of the corolla tube called a ligule. The disc in the middle of the capitulum (often yellow or orange in colour) consists of very small ‘disc florets’ which have a small 3-5 lobed corolla tube with stamens and a carpel.
In this species, the heads are typically produced solitarily, at least 3 cm across, on long cauline stems; bright yellow in colour, with the ray florets have a tridentate or 3-lobed apices on the outside of the head.
The fruit are achenes. In this species, they are terete (tubular) to about 5 mm long, with a pappus of bristles.
The species is not widely cultivated but would be a colourful addition to cottage gardens, path borders, containers and floral bedding displays.
Podolepis jaceoides is a species that we have not cultivated but occurs naturally on our property, Yallaroo [near Armidale, NSW]. We have noticed that flowering density is dependent on good autumn and winter rain.
A wide range of insects visit our Podolepis flowers. The photo shows an unidentified native bee on a bloom. We have observed small, yellow spiders on the flowers waiting for lunch.
It could be cultivated in rockeries or in open areas such as where bushland areas come close to gardens.
Propagation is from seed and possibly rootstock division.
This species would likely readily regenerate from seed after fire.
Podolepis is a genus of 18 species – endemic to Australia, occurring in all states and territories. NSW cuurently has 13 species.
Podolepis – from Ancient Greek podos (ποδός) meaning “foot” or ”leg” and lepis (λεπίς) – referring to “scale” or “husk”; Labillardiere defined this genus and stated that the scales on the calyces (assume of the florets) were foot-like.
jaceoides – Latin – resembling plants of a different Asteraceae genus, Jacea. This genus is now known as Centaurea.
This species is not considered to be at risk of extinction in the wild.
NSW Flora Online (PlantNET) – Podolepis jaceoides profile page https://plantnet.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/cgi-bin/NSWfl.pl?page=nswfl&lvl=sp&name=Podolepis~jaceoides
Wrigley, J.W. & Fagg, M.I. (2001). Australian Native Plants – Propagation, cultivation and use in landscaping. 4th edition. New Holland Publishers, Pty. Ltd. Australia.