Pygmy Daisy
The Involucre Splitting Open
Ellura
Annual Groundsel
Whole
 
    
Pygmy Daisy (Rhodanthe pygmaea)Class: Plant (Plantae) - Daisies
Order: Asterales
Family: Daisy (Asteraceae)
Species: Pygmy Daisy (Rhodanthe pygmaea)
This Photo:     Seed Head
Synonym: Helipterum pygmaeum
Other names: Pygmy Paper Daisy or Pigmy Sunray

EXTRA - Photo Specific Information:
I've left the Small Sago Flower Head, to the right, in this photo to show some perspective.
General Species Information:
Found on Ellura (in the Murray Mallee)
What a strange little plant. Most of the joys of this species came when analysing the photo's. It's too small to appreciate on the ground.
Normally the base of a daisy flower, the involucre, is inconspicuous. But, like with Senecio flowers, the involucre here is the most prominent part of the flower. The normal display parts (petals, etc) are tiny. When fertilisation is complete, the tips of the seed head (wings) protrude out the middle of the flower. Then the involucre spits open showing a dazzling white display of the seed head.
Further, the upright stems are not single plants, but many come from one plant. The red stems spread out along the ground and then bend upwards.
The leaves are felted on the back.

Copyright © 2013- Brett & Marie Smith. All Rights Reserved. Photographed 17-Dec-2013
This species is classed as LC (Least Concern) in the Murray Mallee, by DENR (Regional Species Status Assessments, July 2010)