Cassinia blooms profusely
HAVE you ever wondered what those shrubs covered in cream flowers you can see at the moment flowering profusely in areas around Gympie, especially to the west, are?
They are Cassinia shrubs and this season has seen large numbers of them showing masses of flowers.
Cassinias are members of the Asteraceae family and they produce huge numbers of flowers that cover the bush.
The species most common in this part of the country is C. quinquefaria (Cough bush) that favours disturbed sclerophyll, spotted gum-type soils, and as a pioneer species can quickly grow to dominate an area.
It prefers open sunny areas and is a rather untidy drooping shrub that grows to about 3m plus high and a couple of metres across.
This species appears to be very site specific, growing well on suitable shale soils but not within a few metres where soil has changed to red.
If grown under cultivation the plant can be pruned to a regular shape without affecting its flower production.
Cassinia species have been given common names such as Dead finish, Stinkwood and other less complimentary ones, but it seems that not all species or indeed, all members of a particular species, produce an odour if leaves are crushed.
The local species produces off-white to cream flowers, but there are pink/red variations in other regions.
Native flower growers have selected a number of Cassinia species to be used largely as filler and background decoration due to the long-lasting flowers.