Waranga News

Billy Buttons


Billy Buttons image

For a few weeks following a wet winter, the roadsides and grasslands around our patch of Victoria are brightened by a display of golden-yellow globes on long wiry stems. Billy Buttons (Pycnosorus globosus), also known as Drumsticks, grow all around the district, and are a favourite wildflower of many locals. Easily grown from seed, these beauties also make great longlasting cut flowers.

Botanical name: Pycnosorus globosus

An attractive perennial plant with narrow woolly leaves and golden globe shaped flowers on long stout stems. Flowers throughout spring and is excellent for cut flowers and drying. They naturally grow in swampy areas, so will need a moist but well drained soil to be at their best. Very frost tolerant.

The plant grows from an underground rhizome, so if the plant dies off, it can re-sprout. Once established, the plant will keep coming up for many years. Plant Height: 50 - 75cm

The easiest way to grow Billy Buttons in the garden is by seed.

How to grow

Sow in warm areas at any time. In colder climates wait until the danger of frost is over. Sow by pressing seeds in the soil surface, directly where they are to grow or into seed trays filled with a moist quality seed raising mix. Water, and then keep evenly moist. To boost germination try sprinkling seed starter granules over the surface.

Place in a warm shaded position to germinate fully. Transplant to final growing position when about 7cm - avoid disturbing the roots. Grow in full sun or part shade in well-drained soil. Water in well and then regularly until established but avoid fertilisers that are not designed for Australian natives.

Seedlings emerge 14-21 days.

When to plant

Spring, Summer and Autumn Flowering From 12 weeks Sow Spring, Autumn

The bright yellow spherical flowers can be dried like other native daisies and used in floral arrangements for months.