Orange Sunray
Orange Sunray
Tall & Thin
Orange Sunray (Hyalosperma semisterile)Class: Plants (Plantae) - Land Plants (Charophyta) - Land Plants (Equisetopsida)
Order: Sunflowers (Asterales)
Family: Daisy (Asteraceae)     iNaturalist Observation
Species: Orange Sunray (Hyalosperma semisterile)
This Photo:     Short & Thin
Other name: Everlasting

Thank you Dr Manfred Jusaitis for confirming the id of this species for us

General Species Information:
Found on Ellura (in the Murray Mallee, SA), the Riverland 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 © 2013-2024 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)