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Descriptions of Registered Cultivars 
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Xerochrysum 'Cockatoo'

Xerochrysum bracteatum 'Cockatoo'

(Once known as Bracteantha 'Cockatoo', formerly Helichrysum 'Cockatoo')

ORIGIN: Xerochrysum 'Cockatoo' is a spontaneous hybrid between Xerochrysum 'Dargan Hill Monarch' and a white flowered perennial form of Xerochrysum bracteatum which arose in Mr D M McKenzie's garden at 3 Pearl Street, Ocean Grove, Victoria, 3226. Cultivar received by the Authority 26 November 1979. Applicant: Mr D M McKenzie of Ocean Grove, Victoria.

DESCRIPTION: This cultivar forms a bush that is compact and very dense and grows to plus/minus 1m tall x plus/minus 1m wide. The leaves are covered with fine hairs which gives them a greyish bloom. They are oblanceolate in shape and vary from 6 to 12cm in length. The stems are also covered in fine hairs. The inflorescence is large, averaging 7cm in diameter. The ray florets are very numerous and are plus/minus 21.5cm long. They are a light lemon yellow in colour, with odd flowers showing mottled ray florets of a deeper yellow colour. The disc florets are a golden orange. The flowers are displayed well on long stems held some 12-15cm above the foliage. The flowering period is spread over spring, summer and autumn but some flowers are found all year round.

DIAGNOSIS: The cultivar differs from its parents in the colour of its inflorescence and the size and shape of the shrub. Its perennial habit is the same as for both parents.

CULTIVATION NOTES: This cultivar has been grown for 8 years and tried in most situations. It performs best in a full sun situation. Propagation is quick (2-4 weeks) form cuttings of new growth. The bush tolerates regular pruning which helps to improve its form and flowering potential. Pruning also helps to rejuvenate older plants. It is a perennial plant as is Xerochrysum 'Dargan Hill Monarch' though not long lived, and is best replaced after a few years. The name 'Cockatoo' was selected as the shape and colour of the ray florets resemble the wing feathers of the sulphur crested cockatoo.

COLOUR CODE: RHS Colour Chart 1966.

disc florets: near yellow orange group 23A.

ray florets: near green yellow group 1D.