Sunday, October 14, 2012

Ptilotus exaltatus (Pink Mulla Mulla, Joey, Lamb's Tail, Pussy Tails, Haarschöpfchen) - potted plant flowering in July in Europe

The plant is native to western and central Australia. Its name means 'tall feathers'. There are around 100 species in the genus Ptilotus, all but one occuring in Australia. They are occuring in habitats from tropical areas to the arid inland. They are usually herbaceous (relating to or characteristic of an herb as distinguished from a woody plant) perennials. 

The conical flower heads with lengths of 15 cm and diameters of 5 cm resemble bottle brushes with hairy pink-purple blooms and they have a little tilt at the top that hints at a feather. The egg-shaped to oblong leaves grow 4 to 12 cm long.

Cultivated in gardens they bring a lot of color in dry, hot spots with full sunshine. There is considerable research being undertaken into the cultivation requirements of this genus because of their potential as cut flowers.

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