Brachikoma: recommendations for planting and care in open ground

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Brachikoma: recommendations for planting and care in open ground
Brachikoma: recommendations for planting and care in open ground

Characteristics of a brachicoma plant, how to cultivate and plant in a personal plot, recommendations for reproduction, fight against diseases and pests, interesting facts, species and varieties.

Brachikoma (Brachyscome) belongs to the vast family Asteraceae (Asteraceae), which is also called Asteraceae. Most of the representatives of the genus are endemic to the territory of the Australian continent, but there are some that are found in New Zealand and New Guinea. The species are distributed in a wide variety of habitats. They often prefer rainy coastal and mountainous areas as well as dry central Australia. According to various sources, the genus unites in itself from 65 to 80 species.

Family name Astral or Compositae
Growing period Perennial
Vegetation form Herbaceous or bushy
Breeds Seeds or cuttings
Dates of planting in open ground From the second half of May
Landing rules The distance between the seedlings is 15–20 cm
Priming Lightweight, loose, well-drained, hydrated and nourishing
Soil acidity values, pH 6, 5-7 (neutral) or 5, 5-6 (slightly acidic)
Illumination level Tall, well lit, but draft-proof
Humidity level Moderate and regular watering
Special care rules Fertilize every 2 weeks, pinch the top of the shoots
Height options 0.2-0.3 m
Flowering period All summer months, depending on sowing dates
Type of inflorescences or flowers Single flowers or corymbose inflorescences
Color of flowers The marginal flowers are white, blue, pink or purple, the central part is always bright yellow
Fruit type Seed capsule or achene
The timing of fruit ripening Late summer or September
Decorative period Summer
Application in landscape design Group planting in flower beds and flower beds, decoration of borders, in alpine slides and rabatkas
USDA zone 5–9

Brachikoma got its scientific name due to the combination of a pair of words in Greek "brachys" and "kome", which translate respectively "short" and "hair". This phrase fully reflects the presence of shortened bristles collected in tufts on the seeds of the plant.

In the genus Brachicom there are both perennial and annual species, however, in our meals, due to their thermophilicity, they are grown as annuals, and in warmer regions, although the life expectancy increases, it does not exceed three years. Plants can take a herbaceous vegetative form or grow in the form of small shrubs. Through the stems, a small openwork crown is formed, reaching a height of only 20–35 cm. A rosette can be assembled from the leaves in the root zone and / or leaf plates are attached to the stems in the next order. Leaves grow whole or with division into lobes. The color of the stems and leaves is green.

The flower heads of the brachicoma are solitary or gather at the tops of the stems in small corymbose inflorescences. The flower basket has a number of ray (marginal or reed) flowers, the color of which can have various shades of white, blue, pink or purple. The petals in them are linear, elongated, with a pointed base and a rounded apex. The flower disk, made up of tubular small flowers of a bright yellow color, but today species with a black-colored central part have been bred. With their outlines, the flower baskets of the brachicoma resemble asters of non-double varieties.

With prolonged summer flowering, more than a hundred flower baskets can open on one bush. The beginning of flowering directly depends on the timing of sowing seeds. This process usually starts in mid-summer and ends in September. If seedlings were grown, then flowering can be expected from the first summer days.

The genus of brachicoma differs from other species of the family mainly in the structure of the fetus. These testes or capsules are approximately club-shaped, but are usually curved and flattened. They often have a webbed rim or wing along the edge, sometimes wavy or fringed. The fly (pappus) in most species is less than one millimeter long.

Some of the genus are popular as easy-to-cultivate flower garden ornamental plants, and many varieties are bred for their shape, leaf blades and flowers.

Planting and caring for a brachicoma outdoors

Brachikoma blooms
Brachikoma blooms
  1. Landing place This thermophilic flower is picked with a high level of light and open, but it requires protection from drafts and cold winds. It is not worth planting in parts of the garden where there is excessive moisture: lowlands or near close-lying groundwater.
  2. Soil for brachicoma preferable light and loose, so that there is access to moisture and air to the root system. In addition, it is important that the soil is moist, which will ensure subsequent lush growth and the formation of a large number of flowers. Before planting, it is recommended to dig up the substrate (the digging depth is about 20-25 cm), remove clods of earth, remnants and roots of other flora and level it. If the soil on the site is heavy, then it is diluted with river sand.
  3. Planting a brachicoma It is carried out depending on the region of cultivation, since the plants should be moved into the open ground when the return frosts have completely receded. When planting, it is recommended to adhere to a distance of 15–20 cm between seedlings. The plant is placed in a dug hole so that its root collar remains at the same level, but there should be enough space for the root system.
  4. Watering when caring for a brachicoma, it is performed as the top layer of the soil dries up. When grown in our latitudes, it is recommended to humidify during hot and dry periods. When cultivated in more southern regions, such irrigation becomes regular. If you do not adhere to this rule, then the plant will not develop, the bush will not acquire splendor and the number of flowers will decrease, and this also reduces the duration of flowering. If the soil is very dry, then the brachycoma will inevitably die.
  5. Pruning When caring for this Australian flower, it is carried out regularly to maintain an abundance of flowering. In this case, trimming the stems can be used for propagation as cuttings.
  6. Fertilizers when caring for a brachicoma, it must be applied two weeks after planting. It is recommended to apply complete mineral complexes such as Fertika, Agricola or Kemira-Universal. Top dressing should be applied every 14 days until the buds begin to bloom, and this usually occurs after 60–70 days from the moment of sowing.
  7. General tips for planting. When growing brachycomas in the garden, it is recommended to regularly pinch the top of the shoots to stimulate branching and bud formation. Also, loosening the soil after rainfall or watering and weeding will not hurt.
  8. The use of brachicoma in landscape design. Since this representative of the flora is distinguished by abundant flowering, but of low height, it is customary to place it in rockeries, stone gardens and alpine hills, with its help they form borders and plant retaining walls. This is because the lush-shaped bushes hang decoratively from the stones, cover the voids between them and serve to soften the sharp corners. It is a good idea to plant brachycoma in the foreground of flower beds, flower beds and flower beds. Due to the hanging shoots, it is possible to plant in garden containers, hanging baskets and planters.

The best neighbors for this Australian flower are rock geranium and its various varietal variations, armeria and yarrow, mountain and Carpathian bells, and sedum. This plant looks good next to petinia and pelargoniums, marigolds and tobacco, in combination with night violet and zinnia.

Read about planting ammobium, growing herb outdoors

Recommendations for breeding brachicoma

Brachycoma in the ground
Brachycoma in the ground

Usually, to get this bright Australian plant, the seed propagation method is used, but you can engage in rooting cuttings in warm regions.

Propagation of brachycoma using seeds

Almost all species are grown through seedlings or by sowing seeds directly into flower beds. Usually, in order to sow in open ground, they are waiting for the return frosts to recede (around the end of May), since due to thermophilicity, young brachycoma sprouts will simply die. When sowing, grooves are dug in strips no more than 5 cm wide, 15–20 cm should be left between them. The seeds are evenly laid out in the grooves and sprinkled with river sand, about 1 cm thick. The soil moisture should be maintained until sprouts appear. If such plants are not threatened in the future, then during germination, after a short time, thinning is performed so that no more than 15–20 cm remains between the seedlings.

When growing seedlings, sowing is carried out in early spring or in April (about 6-8 weeks before transplanting into the garden). For this, it is better to have a greenhouse, but you can grow seedlings indoors. Seedling boxes are selected wide and not too high. The soil for sowing is loose and nutritious, preferably slightly acidic (pH 5, 5–6, 5), such a composition can be river sand mixed with peat. Seeds of brachicoma should be spread over the surface of the substrate and sprinkled on top with a thin layer of river sand or perlite. Then, to create high humidity, the seedling container is wrapped in plastic wrap or a piece of glass is placed on top.

To prevent diseases of fungal origin (for example, black leg), the soil from sowing should be watered with a weak solution of potassium permanganate or phytosporin dissolved in water. Sprouts from brachicoma seeds will appear after 2-12 days from sowing, but the total mass will hatch within 2-7 days. When germinating, they try to maintain the temperature in the room at about 20 degrees Celsius. As soon as the seedlings germinate, the shelter must be removed so that they do not vomit, and also gradually reduce the moisture content of the soil.

At the stage of appearance of two pairs of young leaves, seedlings should be dived, seated in separate containers. To do this, you can use pallets, plastic cups or (preferably) made of pressed peat. The diameter of such containers should be 3-5 cm. The soil for transplanting is used universal, intended for flowers (for example, Terravita), mixing it with sand in a ratio of 4: 1. After picking, the brachicoma seedlings are placed in a well-lit place, protected from direct sunlight. After a week from the moment of transplanting, the first feeding is carried out, but the fertilizer concentration should be low. When 60–70 days have passed from the moment of sowing, you can enjoy flowering.

Propagation of brachicoma by cuttings

Since this Australian plant is a perennial, you can propagate your favorite specimens by rooting cuttings. To do this, the selected bush is dug up and transplanted into a pot for wintering indoors. Keep such a plant cool and watering should be very scarce. With the arrival of spring, you can engage in cutting blanks from barahikoma stems. To do this, use any part of the stems, but it is better to take the lower half. The length of the cut should be 5–7 cm. Remove the bottom half of the cut of all foliage, leaving 2-3 leaves at the top of the cut.

Slices of brachicoma cuttings can be treated with any rooting stimulant and planted in a light nutritious substrate, for example, consisting of 90% perlite and 10% peat. When leaving, it is important to keep the soil moist until roots appear. Usually it takes up to a month to form the root system. At the end of spring, rooting will be completed and it will be possible to transplant into prepared garden containers or into a flower bed in the garden.


When the plants reach a height of 5 cm, it is necessary to pinch the tops of their stems to stimulate branching.

After all the cuttings are in the seedling tray, water them well and store them in a well-lit, wind-protected area. It was noticed that up to 90–95% of harvested cuttings are rooting.

Before planting in open ground, both seedlings and barhikoma seedlings grown from cuttings should be pre-hardened two weeks before transplanting. To do this, the plants are taken outside on a sunny day and left to “walk” for 10-15 minutes. Gradually, it is recommended to gradually increase such ventilation up to round-the-clock, so that the plants spend outside all day.

Disease and Pest Control in Brachycoma Growing

Brachycoma is growing
Brachycoma is growing

You can please gardeners with the fact that the plant is practically not susceptible to damage by diseases and pests common for garden plantings. However, with too strong temperature changes, especially during the hot summer season, brachycomas are exposed to powdery mildew. This disease is of fungal origin and is clearly distinguishable due to the formation of a whitish bloom on parts of the flower (leaves or stems), reminiscent of dried lime mortar. This coating reduces the access of air and light to the plant and all processes of photosynthesis are stopped. In this case, the leaves turn yellow and fly around.

To combat the powdery mildew that appears on the brachycoma, it is recommended to cut off all affected parts and perform treatment with fungicidal preparations, like Skor, Topaz or Topsin or others with a similar spectrum of action. As a preventive measure, one should not violate the conditions of agricultural technology and apply top dressing, which contains phosphorus and potassium. This will help to increase the resistance of plants to diseases of fungal origin.

Often, all types of brachycomas, and especially the Iberist (Brachyscome iberidifolia), can be attacked by gastropod pests (snails or slugs), which are actively nibbling on foliage. To expel pests from the site, both traditional methods and chemical preparations are used. As a folk, you can use an infusion of mustard or garlic gruel, which is sprayed at the planting sites. You can also use more serious metaldehyde-based chemicals, such as Thunderstorms.

Read also how to deal with diseases and pests when growing a muzzle

Interesting notes about the brachycoma flower

Blossoming Brachicoma
Blossoming Brachicoma

For the first time this name Brachycome for the genus of these representatives of the flora was presented in 1816 by the famous French botanist Alexander Henri Gabriel Cassini (1781-1832). Since the unifying form of brachis in compound Greek words is brachytic, Cassini later corrected the spelling to brahima. Australian taxonomists are still debating whether the revised Cassini spelling is permissible under the rules of botanical nomenclature. The conservation proposal for Brachyscome was rejected in 1993 by the Spermatophyte (Seed) Committee.

Types and varieties of brachicoma

In the photo Brachikoma Iberist
In the photo Brachikoma Iberist

Brachikoma Iberist (Brachyscome iberidifolia)

often referred to as the Swan River Daisy, Bellis Daisy. Often grows on sand or clay and is resistant to salinity. It also prefers streams and depressions near granite, but most of the thickets of such plants are found on sandy hills and other harsh coastal environments. North of the Pilbara region, it extends to the Murchison, Gascoigne, Coolgardi regions and is recorded in the Gibson Desert. Forms numerous clumps in coastal areas to the west and south, and has also been found on the Abrolhos Islands on the East Wallabi Island of the northernmost group of these islands.

Brachycoma Iberilis occurs among the mosaics of wildflowers that appear in the wastelands, forests and plains of Western Australia. Occupying a wide range, the species is distributed around the fields. The shape and color of Bellis chamomile was familiar to Europeans when it was discovered and has since become a popular garden plant. Poor or sandy soils do not interfere with the effective growth of this plant, the species is hardy and adaptive.

Brachikoma Iberilis is an annual with straight, highly branched thin stems. The height of the plants forming the thickets is only 15–25 cm, often reaching 40 cm. The leaves of Brachyscome iberidifolia are completely separated, each with long and narrow segments from the midrib. The color of the deciduous mass is green with a grayish tint. Leaves grow on the stems alternately.

The ray inflorescences of the brachicoma Iberilis are different in color: from white to pink and from blue to purple. This color is taken by the petals of the edge flowers growing in one row. The central part is composed of small tubular flowers of a yellow hue, but sometimes brownish, blue and even black. In nature, flowering occurs from August to May, but in our latitudes this period begins in June for three months. When opened, the size of the flower basket reaches 2, 5–3 cm. In October, you can start collecting hemicarp. With proper storage, germination is not lost for 2-3 years. Often cultivated and grown from seed.

The most popular varieties of Iberist brachicoma are:

  • Blue Star as the name implies, it has flowers of a blue hue, petals with a pointed top. Recommended for growing in hanging pots and baskets.
  • Blue Sissy during the flowering period, it is decorated with inflorescences with a light pale bluish color and a yellow central part, which effectively stand out against the background of the green openwork crown of the plant.
  • Swan River is a mixture of Iberist brachicoma. It contains plants characterized by inflorescences with pinkish-lilac, blue, bluish and whitish marginal flowers and tubular central flowers of yellow, black or brown colors. In this case, the petals differ in pinnately dissected outlines. The height of such lush bushes does not exceed 25 cm. Only one stalk quickly grows into a beautiful crown, the surface of which is decorated with a large number of flowers. Recommended for planting on alpine slides or when decorating stone sculptures.
  • Purple baby quite attractive variety due to the spectacular bluish-violet color of the inflorescences, the central part of which is dark with a whitish edging. Annuals, the stems of which form loose bushes, designed to decorate flower beds, ridges or front gardens next to residential buildings for the summer.
  • Blue baby a variety of brachicoma Iberist, characterized by a double color of inflorescences. At the same time, it is noted that in the baskets of a blue hue, the central part has a blue-black color, and with blue-purple marginal petals, the tubular (central) ones are yellowish-brown. It is this combination that gives the plant originality. Height 15-25 cm, the bush is formed by highly branched shoots. Recommended for planting in alpine slides and rabatki.
  • Waltz is a soros mixture, in which there are inflorescences of pink, lilac and blue colors. Ideal for curb-forming.
  • Bravo a hybrid variety, through the stems of which a densely rounded bush is formed. The color of the marginal flowers in the inflorescence is ultramarine, blue, violet, lilac-pink or white. In this case, there is a whitish border at the base of the petal. The tubular flowers in the center can be yellow-brown, blue or purple.
  • Margarita in this variety of brachicoma Iberilis flowers, with their outlines, they resemble small stars, with a dark-colored core. Reed flowers in the inflorescence take on a pink, lilac or yellow color scheme.
  • Star scattering the owner of rather large flowers of a bright color.
  • Gorgeous represented by a fast-growing bush, which in summer is covered with a large number of basket inflorescences of different shades of blue color.
  • Nega - a variety of Brachicoma Iberilis, suitable for growing in pots and balcony boxes. The stems are densely leafy, the flowers are painted in a pale lilac, snow-white or deep blue hue.
  • Palermo pleases with abundant and long flowering. Marginal flowers in inflorescences with narrowed petals, painted in white, bright blue or purple, pale pinkish tint.
In the photo of Brachycoma Ratgloss
In the photo of Brachycoma Ratgloss

Brachyscome chrysoglossa

is found under the name Yellow-tongued daisy. A perennial herb from Australia, the species is endemic to these lands. Stems are straight, varying in height within 15–40 cm, with yellow inflorescences. The main flowering period in its native range is from September to January.

The species was first formally described by the botanist Ferdinand von Müller and was published in Transactions of the Philosophical Society of Victoria in 1855. This type has been described as growing "in the Malli bush to the northwestern borders of the colony (Victoria)". The name has sometimes been misapplied to Brachyscome heterodonta. Brachyscome chrysoglossa is widespread in New South Wales and Victoria, where it is found in clay soils that are prone to flooding.

In the photo Brachikoma Selires
In the photo Brachikoma Selires

Brachikoma selires (Brachyscome ciliaris)

Commonly known as variable chamomile, it is a small, bushy perennial with a prominent flower that is found in much of temperate Australia. It grows in the form of a dense bush up to 45 cm high. The color of the flowers varies from white to purple. This species was first collected by Jacques Labillardier and published in his 1806 Novae Hollandiae Plantarum specimen under the name Bellis ciliaris. In 1832 Christian Friedrich Lessing transferred it to Brachyscome, and since then it has been called Brachyscome ciliaris.

Because it is such a variable species, specimens are often referred to as new species, and hence the brachycoma selires has many taxonomic synonyms. Geographically, it is very widespread, occurring in every Australian state. However, the plant is somewhat limited in terms of habitat, preferring red lands and gray sands over limestone or clay, in disturbed areas and on the outskirts of salt pans.

In the photo of Brachycoma Maltifida
In the photo of Brachycoma Maltifida

Brachikoma multifida (Brachyscome multifida)

- a perennial herb. Common names include cut-leaf chamomile, rocky chamomile, and Hawkesbury chamomile. This species is endemic to Australia. It has straight, matte shoots reaching 45 cm in height. The foliage is highly decorative and deeply divided. Flower heads appear above the foliage on peduncles 4 to 40 cm long. The ray flowers are purple, pink or white and are 7 to 10 mm long. The main flowering season is from early fall to mid-winter, but chamomile-like flower heads can appear throughout the year.

For the first time this species was officially described by the Swiss botanist Augustine Pyramus de Candolle, its description was published in the 5th volume of Prodromus Systematis Naturalis Regni Vegetabilis in 1836. Occurs on dry, shallow, or rocky soils in sclerophyll forests or grasslands in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.

Most often in culture, the variety of brachycoma multifida is popular. White delight … This species and its varieties are popular in horticulture and are used for mass planting, in hanging baskets, on curbs and for landscaping retaining walls. Plants can be grown in a wide range of soils and will tolerate dry conditions but will benefit from additional watering. These shrubs are best placed in full sun, although partial shade is allowed. Although the plant is relatively hardy, the foliage can burn in the sun. The species is easily propagated by cuttings that take root quickly. Plants can also propagate using cuttings or seeds, although germination rates are usually slow.

In the photo of Brachycoma scapijer
In the photo of Brachycoma scapijer

Brachyscome Scapigera,

Commonly known as the tufted daisy, it is a perennial herb. The species is endemic to southeastern Australia. It has straight stems reaching 40 cm in height. Basal leaves are linear-facing, up to 19 cm long and up to 1.5 cm wide. Single flower heads about 12 mm in diameter with yellow centers and ray flowers of white or purple color. The main flowering period in its natural area is from November to March.

The scapiger brachycoma was officially described in 1826 in Systema Vegetabilium and named Senecio scapiger. The plant was transferred to the genus Brachyscome in 1838. Often found in swampy areas in the forests of Queensland, New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory, and Victoria. In the latter state, the species occurs at an altitude of over 600 meters and is associated with the little-flowered eucalyptus (Eucalyptus pauciflora).

Related article: Tips for planting and caring for pyrethrum outdoors

Video about growing brachicoma in open field conditions:

Photos of brachicoma:

Brachikoma Photo 1
Brachikoma Photo 1
Brachikoma Photo 2
Brachikoma Photo 2
Brachicoma Photo 3
Brachicoma Photo 3
Brachikoma Photo 4
Brachikoma Photo 4
Brachikoma Photo 5
Brachikoma Photo 5

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