Classified until recently as Helichrysum diosmifolium, Rice flower has become a popular Australian flower over the past 10 years. When in bud the flowers look like large rice grains, hence the name. The small flowers occur in clusters of up to 100 at the ends of the branches and are usually white, but light to dark pink forms are also known. The leaves are small, linear in shape and about 15 mm long.
Rice flower is used as a floral filler, in much the same way as Gypsophila. It is a popular Australian flower in Japan.
Pimelea nitens, which flowers in summer, is also called rice flower, but does not look like Ozothamnus at all.
Rice flower is grown in the field. Supplies come mostly from Qld and NSW.
What to look for
- Buy when flowers are 1/2 to fully open;
- Avoid bunches with wilted tips, and yellow leaves or where leaves drop off when bunches are shaken.
- Keep cool at all times.
- Strip leaves from the lower half of each stem and wash stem ends thoroughly.
- Leaves tend to dry and drop off before flowers wilt, so strip as many leaves off as possible.
- 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.
Botanical Name: Ozothamnus diosmifolius
Common Names: Rice flower, Sago Flower
Stem Length: 30 to 80 cm
Country of Origin: Eastern Australia
Available Colours: Pink, White