big fuzzy composite mystery

Discussion in 'Plants: Identification' started by Douglas Justice, Jan 12, 2010.

  1. Douglas Justice

    Douglas Justice Well-Known Member UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society 10 Years

    Messages:
    965
    Likes Received:
    50
    Location:
    Vancouver, Canada
    I photographed this lovely fuzzy headed composite while on a tour (with the International Plant Propagator's Society) at Te Horo Ornamentals nursery on the North Island of New Zealand last year. Foolishly, I neglected to record the name—if I even heard it (I don't recall). Normally I wouldn't miss a detail like the name, particularly for such a distinctive plant. I blame jet lag. The inflorescence stands about a half a metre above the ruff of leaves, while the pseudanthia are fist-size. Note that the elegantly pointed leaves in the frame belong to an Agave attenuata planted directly behind.

    I'd appreciate a name if anyone recognizes it. Thanks.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. SusanDunlap

    SusanDunlap Active Member

    Messages:
    705
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    California, United States
    Very interesting plant. I wanted to find it! so browsed through 12 families at http://www.plantsystematics.org
    Had no luck.

    At that site was able to filter for leaf arrangement: rosette.
     
  3. lorax

    lorax Rising Contributor 10 Years

    Messages:
    4,776
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    Hmmmm. If it's a composite mystery, that places it in the Asteraceae. We've go our work cut out for us on this one, lol!

    Maybe Pachystegia?
     
  4. SusanDunlap

    SusanDunlap Active Member

    Messages:
    705
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    California, United States
    Just browsed through Pachystegia and Asteraceae at above site - no luck! (Went outside the site to get to images of Pachystegia.....)

    One jpeg of Olearia insignis on Google looked promising - but could not find additional support.
     
  5. Douglas Justice

    Douglas Justice Well-Known Member UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society 10 Years

    Messages:
    965
    Likes Received:
    50
    Location:
    Vancouver, Canada
    Doubtfully Pachystegia. This plant has the feel of a biennial—maybe a perennial, but not woody like an Olearia or Pachystegia. I don't know if it's even a New Zealand native. I suppose it could be, but Te Horo Ornamentals specializes in Australian and South African plants.
     
  6. Ian

    Ian Active Member

    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Sequim, Washington, USA
    Celmisia might be closer to the mark, although I don't know if the flowers/seeds ever look anything like that at a certain stage of development.
     
  7. Silver surfer

    Silver surfer Generous Contributor 10 Years

    Messages:
    3,935
    Likes Received:
    280
    Location:
    PERTHSHIRE. SCOTLAND.UK
  8. SusanDunlap

    SusanDunlap Active Member

    Messages:
    705
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    California, United States
  9. Douglas Justice

    Douglas Justice Well-Known Member UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society 10 Years

    Messages:
    965
    Likes Received:
    50
    Location:
    Vancouver, Canada
    Fantastic! Thank you. Oldenburgia grandis is clearly not a biennial (or herbaceous perennial) as I opined. Interesting that Mabberley (Mabberley's Plant-Book) list the four members of the genus as either cushion plants (2) or subshrubs (2).
     
  10. Silver surfer

    Silver surfer Generous Contributor 10 Years

    Messages:
    3,935
    Likes Received:
    280
    Location:
    PERTHSHIRE. SCOTLAND.UK
    When I saw the pic I thought it looked very shrub like.
    But, hard as I tried I couldn't find it......
    Now comes my confession, I sent an e mail to Geoff Jewell at Te Horo Ornamentals and tonight he was kind enough to send the answer!
    Cheating I know, but it did get a result!!!!

    Thanks Geoff. Most helpful.

    I thought the bit about those big seed heads containing nutlets was really interesting.
     
  11. SusanDunlap

    SusanDunlap Active Member

    Messages:
    705
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    California, United States
    lol. how resourceful!
     
  12. Douglas Justice

    Douglas Justice Well-Known Member UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society 10 Years

    Messages:
    965
    Likes Received:
    50
    Location:
    Vancouver, Canada
    It's not cheating at all (unless it's posted in the Stumpers forum). I have to admit I couldn't find Geoff's email, otherwise I would have done it in the first place. I should also say that it was one of the most interesting and well organized nurseries I've ever visited. At least some of the field plantings are used for propagation stock for the container production, and also for cut stems (for the florist trade). Nice combination. Maybe you can see what I mean from these few images.
     

    Attached Files:

  13. wcutler

    wcutler Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

    Messages:
    10,144
    Likes Received:
    1,892
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    A friend (and cherry scout) is in New Zealand visiting her family. She was going to stop by the place for you tomorrow, her last day before returning back here. She didn't think it was native to NZ.

    I was going to google "cushion plant", so was tickled to see that as a common name for it, but that query on google (and cushion bush) returns something completely different, and a few other things, but not this plant at all (at least for as many pages as I was prepared to look). I'm feeling cheated that I had the right idea and should have come up with the ID before the botanists who wouldn't have made up a common name and then searched for that. But Silver Surfer beat us all to it anyway.
     

Share This Page