Plants of Tasmania Nursery

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Institute for Healthy Communities Australia Limited

Argentipallium spiceri

Argentipallium spiceri is one of the rarest plants in Tasmania, having been recorded only 4 times in the wild, and then only as individual plants. For a while it was actually illegal to posses this plant, as having one in the garden implied that you had disturbed a natural population. Deeper botanical study revealed that the plant was an occasional hybrid, presumably between Argentipallium dealbatum and another, unidentified, daisy, possibly a member of the genus Ozothamnus. This explained the rarity of the plant and the singular occurrences.

The last record of the plant in the wild was in 2001 at Leslie Vale. Cuttings were collected of this plant, which is now dead, by the Royal Tasmanian Botanic Gardens in order to create an insurance population at the gardens. After it was realised that the species was in fact a hybrid, this became less of an imperative and some plants were sold to the public. We heard wind of this, and got further cuttings of plants from the Royal Tasmanian Botanic Gardens to propagate in the nursery. Now we have many dozens of plants, far more than have been recorded in the wild.

Argentipallium spiceri is a fast growing, grey-green foliaged shrub growing to about 0.5 m in dry to average conditions. It has open clusters of small, white or pinkish flowerheads that only open on sunny days. It should look good in massed plantings along with other daisies. It is likely to be short-lived (like many daisies); any feedback on the characteristics of the plant in the garden will be much appreciated.

The distribution of the species is naturally limited to the area between Longley and Huonville. If you are wandering about the bush there and see a strange plant, this may be it!

The following links provide other resources for Argentipallium spiceri, though some are a little out of date now as they were written prior to the hybrid nature of the plant being recognised.

Threatened Species Listing Statement

Argentipallium spiceri Draft Recovery Plan

On-line key to Tasmanian Plants

 

Argentipallium spiceri, showing the general habit, leaf colour and flowerhead arrangement. There are more plants in this photo than have ever been recorded in the wild!

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