Orange Sunray
Bushy, Seeding
Orange Sunray
Perspective with Wireworts
Orange Sunray (Hyalosperma semisterile)Class: Plants (Plantae) - Daisies
Order: Daisies (Asterales)
Family: Daisy (Asteraceae)
Species: Orange Sunray (Hyalosperma semisterile)
This Photo:     Strange, see notes
Other name: Everlasting

EXTRA - Photo Specific Information:
We still have trouble believing this is all Orange Sunray.
But we looked underneath & pulled the seed head and it's all one plant.
We thought we were photographing a milotia or something, with a Sunray next to it. But no.
We've had a few plants we've seen where there is one seed head and then a whole lot of buds. Perhaps rain at the right time gave the plant a burst?
It's possible this is deformed because it's been eaten?
It's here for completeness, and certainly not typical.
General Species Information:
Found on Ellura (in the Murray Mallee, SA) and elsewhere
Small annual with cylindrical, succulent, green leaves with golden yellow flowers.
The overall shape can vary widely, from a tiny single flower stem, thru wiry & spreading to upright and bushy.
The leaves become hairy/sparsely woolly as they grow.
The buds can be yellow thru burnt orange.
Generally it has one flower at the end of each stem from the base. Often the stem will divide to throw another flower head.
The stems go red from the base with age.
We originally thought these were Golden Sunrays (Hyalosperma glutinosum ssp glutinosum). They are very difficult to differentiate. It's possible some of these photo's still are. But we never see them have the same long thin hairless stems nor conical shaped flower heads that can be seen with Golden Sunrays.
Both have petaless flowers, with the petal looking appendages actually being bracts. So when the books say the outer bracts are brown and the inner bracts are yellow; the inner bracts are the ones that look like petals.
It's also why they are called everlasting; petals can't be dried, but bracts can.
At a guess the name comes from the burnt orange look of the buds and outer bracts. The outer bracts on Golden Sunrays are semi-transparent, tinted brown.

Copyright © 2013- Brett & Marie Smith. All Rights Reserved. Photographed 08-Dec-2013
This species is classed as LC (Least Concern) in the Murray Mallee, SA, by DENR (Regional Species Status Assessments, July 2010)