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Hymenolepis parviflora

   (Family: Asteraceae)
Afrikaans: Koulterbos, Pokbos English: Coulter-bush  EDIT
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Plant Type: EDIT  Shrub
Height: 2.5m
Spread: 2m
Rarity Status:
Preferred rainfall: Winter
Preferred position:
Full Sun
Tolerated soil:  
  Sand (coarse texture, drains easily),
Clay (fine texture, holds a lot of water),
Loam (gritty, moist, and retains water easily)
Flowering time EDIT
                x x x x
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Flower colours
  Flower scent EDIT
  Sweetly scented
  Insects such as bees and butterflies.
  Flower info
  Masses of small, golden yellow, sweetly scented flowers, arranged in compound heads, are borne in summer at the ends of the branches. The individual flowerheads are discoid. Membranous paleae occur with each floret on the receptacle.
Leaf shape EDIT
Leaf margin
Leaf arrangement
Leaf texture Smooth
  Leaf info EDIT
  Finely divided, needle-like, grey-green leaves. The leaves are alternately arranged on the branches but the lower part of the stem and branches are leafless.
Fruit type EDIT
Sow seeds in Autumn
  Seed info EDIT
  The fruits (cypselae) are glabrous, cylindrical, with 5-10 faint ribs and the pappus consists of basally united, small, fimbriate scales.
Description EDIT
A soft shrub with finely divided, needle-like, grey-green leaves and masses of small, golden yellow, sweetly scented flowers.
Growing EDIT
It is an evergreen, frost-hardy and wind-resistant plant. It needs to be planted in full sun but will tolerate some shade during the day.

It is easily cultivated from cuttings and seed sown in April but seedlings should be protected from frost. Water during winter months, especially in the summer rainfall areas before flowering commences.

It may be lightly pruned after flowering to keep it neat. Replace the plants after three or four years.
Distribution EDIT
Occurs naturally in the Northern and Western Cape (from about Springbok in Namaqualand, south to the Cape Peninsula and east, reaching Oudtshoorn). It grows on mountain or hill slopes in rocky or sandy soil.
History EDIT
Hymeno is a Greek word meaning membranous, lepis is also a Greek word meaning scale, probably referring to the membranous involucral bracts or the membranous paleae found on the receptacle of the flowerheads; parvi, small, flora, flower- therefore referring to the many small florets aggregated together in compound heads.
It seems that this species hasn't been cultivated very widely, but will definitely brighten a dull area in your garden.
Ecology EDIT
When in flower, the plants are visited by many insects such as bees and butterflies, which are obviously their pollinators. The fruits (cypselae) are not adapted to any special kind of long distance dispersal, as the pappus is very small. They are small and light and can easily be blown away by the wind or drift off in streams.
Member Comments
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28 October 2013 09:58
We have this plant all over our garden, it is so bright and colourful.
It handles our clay soil, is waterwise and seeds itself readily with no assistance.
We usually cut them down hard every year which keeps them very bushy.
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