Brachyscome

Brachyscome iberidifolia white flowers

A genus of free flowering compact tender annuals and perennials, usually grown in the UK as container or hanging basket plants. The green fern-like foliage is covered with masses of delicate daisy-like flowers all summer.

Family: Asteraceae (Daisy)
Botanical Name: Brachyscome (or Brachycome)
Common Names: Swan River Daisy

Foliage: Pale-green, fine, feathery leaves.

Flowers: Scented, daisy-like flowers, borne on slender stems. Available in shades of white, pink, purple, violet and blue, with either a yellow or dark central disc.

Flowering Period: Early summer until the first frosts.

Soil: Moist but well-drained, fertile soil (chalk, sand or loam). Acid, alkaline or neutral pH. Avoid waterlogged conditions.

Conditions: Full sun or partial shade. Plant in an east, west or south facing aspect, in a cool sheltered position.

Habit: Bushy, low growing.

Type: Half-hardy annual or tender perennial.

Origin: Australia

Hardiness: Half-hardy in the UK. Protect from frost.

Planting and Growing Brachyscome

Easy to grow from seed. Thrives in any rich, well drained, moisture-retentive soil/compost. Plant in a sunny but sheltered spot, once all danger of frost has passed in your area. Dislikes damp, rainy conditions. Good drought tolerance once established.

Usually grown outdoors as a hardy annual but can also be grown in a cool greenhouse or as a pot plant. Great in raised beds, pots, containers, hanging baskets and window-boxes.

Produces abundant nectar and pollen for bees and other types of pollinating insects.

Note: B. iberidifolia does not flower that well in very hot weather.

Taking Care of Brachyscome

Water regularly in dry weather. Keep the soil moist but do not let the plants sit in water.

To improve flowering, apply a weak solution of all-purpose liquid flowering plant food every few weeks or use a slow release form. Do not over fertilize.

Pruning

Regularly deadhead to extend the flowering period.

Pests and Diseases

Generally pest and disease free.

Propagating Brachyscome

Sow seeds in early spring under glass, at a constant 18°C (64°F). Prick out and pot on, maintaining a warmth of 16°C (61°F), until growing strongly. Harden off and transplant to flowering positions in late spring, once all risk of frost has past.

Base cuttings of perennials can be taken from spring to late summer. Root in a free draining compost using a propagator or cool greenhouse.

Note: Plants protected by Plant Breeders' Rights (PBR) can only be propagated with a licence.

Popular Varieties of Brachyscome

Seeds are sold in either mixed or single colours. Plug and pot plants are often available at garden centres in spring.

Brachyscome angustifolia (Brachyscome gramineal) is a low growing, semi-trailing, half hardy perennial, with bright colourful flowers. Ideal for containers and hanging baskets. Height 6-8in (15-20cm), spread 8in (20cm). Good cultivars include:

  • 'Fresco Purple' small purple daisy-like flowers with yellow centres.
  • 'Brasco Violet' a compact free-flowering form with violet-purple daisy flowers with yellow centres.

Brachyscome iberidifolia is a popular container plant that bears an abundance of delicate daisy-like flowers on slender stems. Easy to grow from seed. Height and spread up to 12in (30cm). Good varieties include:

  • 'Blue Star' produces a tight mass of little star-shaped lightly fragrant flowers.
  • 'Bravo' bears little daisy-like flowers in a mixture of bright colours: white, blue and violet, each with a black centre (Fleuroselect Quality Mark). Height: 8-10in (20-25cm). Seed available at Thompson & Morgan.
  • 'Little Missy' is a long flowering form with pretty lilac blue, daisy-like flowers with a yellow central eye surrounded by a white halo. Height and spread: 10in (25cm). Seed available at Thompson & Morgan.
  • 'Magenta Delight' has finely divided, grey-green leaves and daisy-like magenta coloured daisy flowers with yellow centres.
  • 'Purple Splendour' bears masses of lovely purple daisy-like flowers with a dark centre.
  • 'White Splendour' has pure white flowers with contrasting yellow or dark centres.
  • 'Mixed Splendour' produces a mix of white and purple flowers.