Cassinia heleniae Orchard APNI*
Synonyms: Cassinia adunca F.Muell. ex Sond. APNI*
Description: Erect few-stemmed shrub 1–1.5 m high. Bark longitudinally fissured; young stems sticky with gland tipped and globular hairs.
Leaves terete, 9–25 mm long, 0.6–0.9 mm wide, 20–30 times as long as wide; margins entire, reflexed to midrib, tip abruptly recurved with mucro; midrib sunken above and prominent below; uppersurface mid-green with sparse to dense hairs, lower surface dense cottony.
Inflorescence a round to flat topped cyme; involucral bracts papery and spirally arranged, opaque white above with a central green section; florets 5–7 per head; corolla tube white.
Achene olive brown, almost glabrous; pappus of 19–25 short barbellate bristles in one row. Old heads remain on the plant for c. 6 months.
Flowering: Buds apprear in December, flowers in March and fruits shed by June.
Distribution and occurrence: Confined to a small area around Torrington in the north western slopes of New South Wales.
Grows in sandy podzols on granite in dry sclerophyll forest at 900-1160 altitude.
NSW subdivisions: NT
This species is noted for having the longest heads in the genus, 6mm in length. The inflorescence has a sweet honey smell. Named for Helen Thompson, editor of many volumes of the Flora of Australia.
Text by Louisa Murray
Taxon concept: Orchard, A.E. (2005) A revision of Cassinia (Asteraceae: Gnaphalieae) in Australia. 4 Section Costatae. Australian Systematic Botany 18, 455-471.
APNI* Provides a link to the Australian Plant Name Index (hosted by the Australian National Botanic Gardens) for comprehensive bibliographic data
***The AVH map option provides a detailed interactive Australia wide distribution map drawn from collections held by all major Australian herbaria participating in the Australian Virtual Herbarium project.