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Olearia elliptica facts for kids

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Sticky daisy bush
Olearia elliptica flowers.jpg
Olearia elliptica in the Oxley Wild Rivers National Park
Scientific classification

Olearia elliptica, commonly known as the sticky daisy bush, is a shrub in the daisy family, Asteraceae and is native to New South Wales and Queensland in eastern Australia. It has scattered, sticky leaves and white flowers in summer and autumn.

Olearia elliptica habit


Olearia elliptica is a shrub that typically grows to a height of 2 m (6 ft 7 in) and has scattered, curved, elliptic leaves 20–115 mm (0.79–4.53 in) long, 5–38 mm (0.20–1.50 in) wide on a petiole up to 12 mm (0.47 in) long. The upper surface of the leaves is sticky and the lower surface is a paler green. The flowers are borne in corymbs on the ends of the stems, each flower 11–26 mm (0.43–1.02 in) wide, the groups on a peduncle up to 12 mm (0.47 in) long. Each "flower" has between 8 and 23 white ray florets and between 8 and 30 yellow disc florets in the centre. Flowering occurs between November and May and the fruit are bristly achenes.

Taxonomy and naming

Olearia elliptica was first formally described in 1836 by Augustin Pyramus de Candolle who published the description in his 17-volume treatise, Prodromus Systematis Naturalis Regni Vegetabilis. The specific epithet (elliptica) is a Latin word meaning "a defective circle" or "an ellipse".

In 1993, Peter Shaw Green described two subspecies of O. elliptica that have been accepted by the Australian Plant Census:

  • Olearia elliptica subsp. elliptica has more heads of flowers in the corymb (between 20 and 50) and occurs in continental New South Wales and Queensland;
  • praetermissa is a smaller plant with between 8 and 15 flowers in the corymb and is endemic to Lord Howe Island. The epithet praetermissa is a Latin word meaning "overlooked", referring to the distinctness of this subspecies having only been recognised recently.

Distribution and habitat

Subspecies elliptica occurs from Berry northwards along central and eastern New South Wales to the Queensland border. It is found in areas of annual rainfall of over 900 mm in the Sydney Basin.

Use in horticulture

Sticky daisy bush adapts readily to cultivation, preferring acidic soils in part shade or sun.

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