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Characteristics: Shrub to 1.5 m spread 1.5 m
Seeds per packet: Approx 10
A small shrub with green flowers that resemble a bird attached by its beak to the central stalk of the flower head.
Flowering occurs from winter to spring, and sometimes in autumn. The fruit is a club-shaped pod, about 4-5 cm long, which is swollen, hard and velvety.
Typically an erect and hairy stem and an open textured crown, stout woolly branches and rounded dull green leaves.
Native to central Australia. Easy to germinate and will grow successfully in most temperate to hot climates.
Prefers a light well-drained soil in an open sunny position, drought and resistant to an occasional frost.
Although seed can be sown most of the year in Australia seed is generally best sown in spring or autumn in temperate climates, avoid the coldest and hottest months of the year. The optimum germination temperature for germination is around 18-22°C.
Cortalaria seeds germinate readily, however they do have a hard outer coating which is impervious to water and generally germination will normally not occur unless the seed is scarified by abrading or pre-treated with boiling water first.
General note: Seeds of many natives are dormant and require specific conditions or pre-treatment for germination.
Do not be too hasty to discard seed that does not germinate, seeds will often lay dormant until the conditions are similar to their natural requirements for germination to occur. Containers put to one side will often surprise long after they were discarded.