Pygmy Daisy
About to Seed, Above
Pygmy Daisy
The Involucre Splitting Open
Pygmy Daisy (Rhodanthe pygmaea)Class: Plants (Plantae) - Land Plants (Charophyta) - Land Plants (Equisetopsida)
Order: Sunflowers (Asterales)
Family: Daisy (Asteraceae)     iNaturalist Observation
Species: Pygmy Daisy (Rhodanthe pygmaea)
This Photo:     About to Seed, Profile
Synonym: Helipterum pygmaeum
Other names: Pygmy Paper Daisy or Pigmy Sunray

Thank you Tony and Jenny Dominelli & Darren Fielder for confirming the id of this species for us

EXTRA - Photo Specific Information:
Notice the seed head (wings) protruding out the middle of the flower here.
General Species Information:
Found on Ellura (in the Murray Mallee, SA), the Riverland and elsewhere
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 © 2013-2024 Brett & Marie Smith. All Rights Reserved. Photographed 26-Aug-2013
This species is classed as LC (Least Concern) in the Murray Mallee, SA, by DENR (Regional Species Status Assessments, July 2010)