Ixodia is a popular cut flower which is commonly used either fresh or dried. It has a remarkable ability to close flowers in the dark, and then swiftly re-open them again if bunches are brought out into bright light again. This can also happen when branches are transported dry: flowers close during dry transport, then re-open again when the stem ends are cut and branches placed back in water.
The flowers bloom in large clusters at the ends of each stem and the papery, daisy-like flowers vary from 5 to 15 mm in diameter and are white with yellow centres. The foliage of I.achilleoides is dark green in colour with linear to lance-shaped leaves from 5 to 100 mm long, and is sticky to touch.
Ixodia is now most commonly supplied from plants grown in plantations, whereas it was commonly bush harvested in the past. Most supplies come from SA and Victoria.
What to look for
- Buy bunches with fresh looking flowers;
- Don’t worry if flowers are closed – they will re-open with light and water;
- Avoid bunches with brown flowers and with yellow leaves.
- Keep cool at all times.
- Strip leaves from the bottom half of each stem and wash thoroughly.
- Recut at least 2 cm off each stem and place in water immediately.
- Do not bash or split stems.
- Always use a preservative as this will help keep open flowers looking fresh.
- Replace vase water with fresh preservative every day.
- Closed flowers can be re-opened when bunches are placed in clean water (after following steps 2 to 5) and placed in strong light.
- Ixodia make excellent dried flowers – hang bunches upside-down in a dark, cool space. Dried flowers can also be easily dyed.
Botanical Name: Ixodia achilleoides ssp. Alata
Common Names: Hills Daisy, Mountain Daisy
Stem Length: 30 to 60 cm
Country of Origin: Australia: SA and western Victoria
Available Colours: White