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Descriptions of Registered Cultivars 
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Xerochrysum 'Princess of Wales'

Xerochrysum bracteatum 'Princess of Wales'

(Once known as Bracteantha 'Princess of Wales', formerly Helichrysum 'Princess of Wales')

ORIGIN: Xerochrysum 'Princess of Wales' is a presumed hybrid between two forms of Xerochrysum bracteatum.. The cultivar arose in cultivation at the Australian National Botanic Gardens in Canberra and was selected by an employee at the Gardens, Mr P Ollerenshaw. The two parent forms involved are the annual multicoloured form and the perennial form known as Xerochrysum 'Dargan Hill Monarch'. The form was selected in summer 1983. Cultivar received by the Authority on the 26 March 1985. Applicant is the Australian National Botanic Gardens.

DESCRIPTION: This cultivar grows into a compact, dense shrub 0.6m tall by 0.6m wide. The leaves are mostly glabrous though the midrib is covered with a fine mantle of silky hairs. Some scattered silky hairs occur also along the leaf margins. The younger stems are covered in a dense coat of similar silky hairs which diminish as the stems become older. The leaves average between 5 and 9cm in length. The flower heads average 5 to 1.5cm long while the rays of the inner bracts average 1 to 1.5cm long. Both are a rich gold in colour. The stigmas are orange colour when they emerge. The flowers are on long stems that emerge well above the foliage. The flowering season in Canberra is from October to April but occasional flowers may be found all year round. The flowering period should not be markedly different in other parts of Australia.

DIAGNOSIS: This cultivar may be distinguished from the presumed parent forms by the following features. The cultivar has the perennial habit of Xerochrysum 'Dargan Hill Monarch' but lacks the greyish appearance provided by the fine silky hairs. This perennial habit differs from the annual habit of the other presumed parent form. The main distinguishing characteristic is in the cultivar's flowering habit. As flowers die the stem withers and the whole flower stem and dead flowerheads disappear into the lower foliage of the plant. At the same time new growth emerges from lower on the plant and extends above the foliage again. These new stems then bear new inflorescences. The cultivar is also very free flowering.

OTHER NOTES: The free flowering habit together with the growth habit of "hiding" the spent flower heads make this a very desirable plant for cultivation. The cultivar is named in honour of her Royal Highness the Princess of Wales on the occasion of her visit to the Australian National Botanic Gardens on 7 November 1985. The cultivar is frost hardy and moderately drought hardy. The cultivar must be propagated by vegetative means to preserve the cultivar form. Cuttings may be obtained from plants at almost any time of the year.

COLOUR CODE: RHS Colour Chart 1966

Involucral bracts and rays of the inner bracts: yellow orange group 14A

stigmas of flowers: yellow orange group 23A