Chrysocephalum apiculatum (Yellow Buttons, Common Everlasting)

Chrysocephalum apiculatum, also known as Common Everlasting or Yellow Buttons, is a perennial ground cover plant native to Australia.

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Featured Image: Harry Rose I Flickr I CC BY 2.0

Chrysocephalum apiculatum belongs to the Asteraceae family, which also includes daisies, sunflowers, and other plants with similar characteristics. It has a life expectancy of 2-5 years.

Varieties include ‘Desert Orange’ and ‘Silver Sunburst’ Everlasting Daisy, ‘Desert Flame’ Yellow Buttons, and ‘Silver and Gold’ Paper Daisy.

Chrysocephalum apiculatum appearance

Harry Rose I Flickr I CC 2.0

The Chrysocephalum apiculatum generally grows up to 60 cm tall and 50 cm wide, although the appearance of this plant varies widely due to its wide distribution around the country.

It has yellow flowers, which are compact heads, and its leaves are green and thin.

The thin stalk/stem of the plant varies in length between varieties, and it is covered in silky hairs which can give it a green/grey colour.

The Chrysocephalum apiculatum flowers year-round but mostly in spring and summer.

Location & growing conditions

Yellow Buttons is a warm and cool temperate climate plant that can tolerate a wide range of environments. It grows in all Australian states and territories.

It prefers full sun to partial shade and a variety of well to moderate draining soil types, including clay, loamy, or sandy soil.

In terms of pH levels, Chrysocephalum apiculatum can tolerate a wide range. However, most natives prefer acidic soils (pH of 4.0 to 6).

It is considered to have moderate to hardy frost tolerance and good drought resistance.

In your garden

Captain-tucker I wikimedia I CC BY-SA 3.0

Chrysocephalum apiculatum is a versatile and attractive ground cover, border or edge planting.

It is often used as a feature plant with its attractive yellow foliage.

The plant is often grown in clumps where the abundant small flower heads can light up a whole section of the garden.

It attracts bees which pollinate the flowers, along with other insects.

Caring for Chrysocephalum apiculatum

Caring for Chrysocephalum apiculatum is simple.

It is best to water the plant in well once planted, then allow it to take care of itself with natural rainfall. It will also benefit from mulch but keep it away from the plant’s base.

Fertiliser isn’t necessary but it can be fed with slow-release fertiliser periodically to encourage growth.

The plant can be pruned when the flowers start to look past their best, which will encourage denser growth. It’s best to prune outside of the flowering season.

Hard pruning can be undertaken at any time of the year after which the plant will put on strong growth.

Pests & diseases

The plant is susceptible to pests such as caterpillars, aphids, slugs and snails.

If you notice caterpillars on your plants, you can treat them with Dipel, which is a bio-insecticide that targets caterpillars.

There are no known diseases for this species of plant, so there is no need for disease control measures.

Propagation

Chrysocephalum apiculatum can be propagated by seed (not recommended), division, or cuttings.

To propagate by division, dig up a plant and cut the root into two large divisions with a sharp knife. The plants should be planted 20 cm apart in potting mix.

What’s in a name?

The name Chrysocephalum is Greek and means “golden headed”, while the latin word apiculatum refers to the short pointy leaves.

Chrysocephalum apiculatum was formerly known as ‘Helichrysum apiculatum’.

Why grow native Australian plants?

Growing native plants is the perfect way to add a touch of Australia to your backyard.

Native plants are easier to grow and maintain than exotic species, plus they provide food and shelter for local wildlife and help support our environment.

If you’re looking for inspiration to get started designing an Australian native garden, here are some reasons why growing native plants can be beneficial:

Low maintenance and easy to grow

Native plants are naturally suited to the local climate and soil, meaning they require less watering and fertiliser.

They’re also generally less fussy about conditions, so you don’t need to spend hours giving them extra TLC each weekend.

Native plants are often more resistant to pests and diseases than exotic varieties, which means you’re less likely to spend time and money dealing with these types of problems.

Provide habitat and food for local wildlife

Native plants provide food, shelter and nesting areas for a huge range of local wildlife.

They provide a home for native birds, with their fruits and seeds being an important source of food.

For example, the seeds on a banksia will attract seed-eating birds like the cockatoo, while the nectar will attract birds like the honeyeater or wattle bird.

Native bees also benefit from native plants because they prefer the nectar from native flowers as opposed to exotic varieties.

Require less water and are drought tolerant

Native plants are well suited to their local environment. They’re typically adapted to the climate, soil, and other conditions of a particular region.

Because they’re so well-adapted to their surroundings, they usually require little or no additional water or fertiliser.

In Australia, this means our native plants are more likely than non-natives to survive in dry climates and hot temperatures.

They are therefore also more resistant to challenging conditions like drought than most non-native plant species.

Sustainable and support a healthy environment

If you want to grow a sustainable garden that preserves natural biodiversity, native plants are the best option.

Unlike exotic species, native plants require very little in the way of fertilisers and pesticides. When added to our lawn or garden, these chemicals run into our waterways and can cause imbalances in the soil.

If you want to minimise the amount of chemicals you spray on your garden, natives are the way to go.

Beautiful bright flowers

Australia’s native flowers are unique, beautiful, and come in a range of colours, shapes and sizes.

From big, bold flowers with striking colour combinations to tiny delicate blooms, native plants are really special.

They can be fragrant too. Some species have an intoxicating scent that attracts birds, bees, butterflies, and other insects.

The Hymenosporum flavum (native frangipani), for example, has highly fragrant flowers that attract local wildlife to its nectar.

Versatile and useful

Not only will they grow in areas where others won’t, but native plants are also great for a variety of different uses in the garden.

A wide range of uses means natives will work in any garden environment: whether as a feature plant or an underplanting for larger trees or shrubs, or as groundcover to prevent erosion on slopes.

They can also be used for privacy screens, windbreaks, or shade.

Cheaper to buy than exotic varieties

Australian natives are generally cheaper than exotic varieties. This can be attributed to the fact that they are easier to grow in our local climate.

Native plants are also cheaper to look after, as they have a higher resistance to local pests, diseases, and environmental conditions.

FAQ

Are Yellow Buttons native to Australia?

Yes, Chrysocephalum apiculatum, or Yellow Buttons, is a perennial ground cover plant native to Australia.

How do you prune Chrysocephalum?

If your Yellow Buttons start to look a bit tired, a prune should encourage denser growth. Do this outside of the flowering season. Hard pruning can be undertaken at any time of the year.

References

Aussie Winners, Greening Australia, Gardening with Angus, ANBG, Austplants

Photo of author

Steve Kropp

Based in Melbourne, Steve's passion is vegetable gardening, and he’s been writing about it for almost 5 years. He also loves all things DIY, and is always up for a new project. When not working on his own garden projects or blogging, Steve enjoys spending time with his family, cooking delicious meals from fresh produce picked from his garden, and coaching his son’s footy team.