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Guide to Growing Swan River Daisy and Cut-leaf Daisy

The newer scientifically correct name for this genus is Brachyscome; most gardeners still use the original name for the genus in general descriptions, but will use the modern name for scientific names.

When looking for plants at gardening centers or for further information on the plants be prepared to search using both names for the genus.

Brachycome may be half hardy annuals or perennials.



Some of the common names for the plant that are used in the garden include Swan river daisy, Cut leaved daisy, Yellow tongue daisy, Rocky daisy and Variable daisy.

Sow out annuals every four weeks to ensure a continuous blooming season.

Brachyscome Growing Video

The following video contains pictures of Swan-river-daisy, Surdaisy White, and Cut-leaved Daisy.

Description of Brachycome

Plants have a compact nature, grey-green leaves and usually come into flower in the summer and autumn.

The fragrant flowers are daisy like, having a yellow or black center, with dark blue, pink or yellow petals.

Brachycome
Brachycome by Tuchodi.

Brachyscome
Brachyscome by Bonguri.

Information on Brachycome / Brachyscome, and commonly grown garden species

The Brachycome genus (Brachyscome) consists of 65 species and is a member of the Asteraceae family. The genus is native to Australasia. Plants have a shrubby herb like appearance.

As a member of the Asteracaeae (Daisy) family, Brachycome are closely related to species such as Aster, Daisy, Jimmyweed (Isocoma) and Cornflower (Centaurea).

Some of the commonly grown and seen species include:

Brachycome iberidifolia: Swan River Daisy (Annual)
Brachyscome multifida: Rocky Daisy; Cut-leaved Daisy, Hawkesbury Daisy (Perennial)
Brachyscome ciliaris: Variable Daisy (Perennial)
Brachyscome chrysoglossa: Yellow Tongue Daisy (Perennial)
Brachyscome decipiens: Field Daisy
Brachyscome trachycarpa: Smooth Daisy

Quick Brachycome / Brachyscome Growing and Care Guide

Common Names: Swan River Daisy, Cut Leaved Daisy, Yellow Tongue Daisy, Rocky Daisy, Variable Daisy.
Life Cycle: Half hardy annual. Hardy perennial.
Height: 6 to 18 Inches (15 to 45 cm).
Native: Australia, New Zealand, New Guinea.
Growing Region: Zones 1 to 10.
Flowers: Summer and autumn.
Flower Details: Blue, pink, violet, yellow, white with black/yellow eyes. Daisy-like ray and disc florets.
Foliage: Green or blueish-grey leaves. Divided. Narrow. Linear.
Sow Outside: Cover seed. Every four weeks from the last frost. Spacing 9 inches (22 cm).
Sow Inside: Germination time: one to three weeks. Temperature 70°F (21°C). Seven or eight weeks in advance. Transplant outdoors following the last frost.
Requirements: Full sunlight or light shade. Good drainage. Soil pH 6 to 7. Rich soil. Deep soil. Can survive in dry soils. Provide support for young plants.

How to Grow Swan River Daisy (Brachycome)

When planting Brachycome outdoors it is best to sow out the seeds on the surface, then give them a light covering after the last frost of spring. Sowing should continue every three weeks or so throughout the season.

If you plan to first grow Brachycome species such as Swan river daisies indoor then they should be prepared 8 weeks before putting out before the last frost of spring.

Germination of Brachycome species usually takes around two to three weeks when performed at 18 to 22 degrees Celsius. Seedlings should be planted out at a spacing of 15 to 20cm in a sunny or partially shaded area. Ideally the soil should be rich and of a pH of 6 to 7.

Caring for Swan River Daisies in the Garden

Swan river daisy plants (Brachycome iberidifolia) should be dead headed after flowering for continued flowering. Support young plants by using twigs.

Specific Plant Information and Tips on growing Brachycome in the Garden

Brachyscome iberidifolia: Swan River Daisy

Swan river daisies are a very popular annual in the garden, and this has led to many different varieties of Brachycome iberidifolia becoming available; these include: Mini Yellow; Mauve Delight; California Pink; Blue Zephyr; Purple splendor and Blue star. These plants are native to Australia and come into bloom in the cooler months from August to May; they do not flower in extremely hot conditions. In the Northern hemisphere they will come into bloom in the Summer and Autumn; though do not expect to see flowers when the weather is very hot.

Brachyscome iberidifolia
Brachyscome iberidifolia by Sydney Oats

Plants reach about 15 inches (40 cm) in height and should be spaced at about 9 inches (22 cm); if you are using the plants as part of a lawn edging then space at 6 inches (15 cm) apart. They can be grown in full sunlight or partially shaded conditions, and can tolerate dry soils. Ideally the soil will be rich and deep, and slightly acidic (though these plants are known to grow well in soils of pH 5.5 to 8).

Blooms do not tend to last long, so prolong blooming time by deadheading, and sow out seeds every three to four weeks in order to maintain a continuous bloom in the garden.

Plants are sensitive to over-watering as they have small leaves. Brachyscome love light, and if growing in a container it is important to give then a constant supply of low level fertilizer. As plants do not perform well in salty soils, so test salt-soil levels regularly.

Some popular cultivars include ‘Blue Star’ and ‘Little Missy’. Another popular member of the genus is the Brachyscome augustifolia hybrid ‘Mauve Delight’.

Brachyscome ciliaris: Variable Daisy

These perennials reach an height of 6 to 18 inches (15 to 45 cm) and are able to grow in full sunlight and partially shaded conditions. They bloom in summer and early autumn with rose or white colored petals and a black or yellow eye.

Brachycome
Brachycome Surdaisy White by Serres Fortier

Brachyscome multifida (Brachycome multifida)

Brachyscome multifida is known by the common names of Cut-leaf Daisy and Rocky Daisy. It is an herbaceous perennial that is native to Eastern Australia.

Plants reach 45 cm (18 inches) in height. It has two main varieties ‘multifida’ and ‘dilatata’; these differ in leaf-shape, with the former variety having narrower and slightly smaller pinnate leaves than the latter. In addition to the two varieties, there are numerous cultivars available, such as ‘break o day’ and ‘amethyst’.

Brachyscome multifida blooms in the spring and summer with blooms of disc-shaped flowers that are purple, pink, mauve, white, or lemon in color. These are carried atop long peduncles. Which may themselves reach 40 cm (16 inches).

Brachyscome multifida
Brachyscome multifida flowers by Harry Rose

Plants perform best in full sunlight and can tolerate partial shade. Although plants are drought-tolerant giving them a little water during prolonged dry-spells will be beneficial. Try to water from below to prevent powdery mildew.

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