Thryptomene branches bear hundreds of tiny white flowers and small spear-shaped leaves. They also have a pleasant scent. In good seasons the flowers are so numerous that they can almost completely cover the branches, so they are a mass of white. T. calycina is the white form most commonly sold, but you can find branches of the pink T. saxicola from time to time. This has fewer flowers and flowers in spring, whereas T. calycina is a winter flower. Traditionally, the season is said to extend from Mothers Day to Fathers Day, but prime season is from June to August. Late in the season T. calycina can suffer from flower drop, as the flowers are naturally shed from bushes at this time in the wild.
Thryptomene is used as a filler, and comes in large bunches that can provide enough material for many arrangements. It has long been a popular wildflower in Australia, particularly in Victoria as it flowers naturally in the Grampians, a few hours drive west of Melbourne. Large plantations in this region still supply the majority of Thryptomene bunches to the Australian market.
They are grown almost entirely as field crops in the Grampians region west of Melbourne, where they are endemic, and small plantations also exist in NSW, SA and Queensland. It is also now grown in Israel, South America and the USA.
Types: T. calycina, T. saxicola
What to look for
- Flowers are about 1/3 to fully open;
- Bunches in water, not under wet hessian;
- Avoid bunches with closed flowers and dried leaves;
- Shake bunches in September/October and avoid those with flower and leaf drop.
- Keep cool at all times.
- Split bunches and strip all leaves from the lower half of each stem.
- Wash stem ends.
- Recut at least 2 cm off each stem with sharp secateurs and place in water immediately.
- Do not smash or split stems.
- Preservative is essential – this will help maintain fresh leaves and flowers.
- Replace water every day.
- Misting is a good idea, as Thryptomene can take up water through the leaves and flowers.
Botanical Name: Thryptomene calycina (white), T. saxicola (pink)
Common Names: Lace flower, Thryptomene
Stem Length: 30 to 60 cm
Country of Origin: Australia
Available Colours: Pink, White