Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Phaenocoma prolifera D.Don

Half hardy, bushy, rigid, evergreen shrub with very small, smooth, scale-like leaves, and terminal heads of white, crimson, rose or purple flowers in summer.  To 60cm.  [RHSD, Rice].

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘Being in blossom during almost the whole of the year, and in growth and appearance extremely elegant; it is one of the most ornamental plants we have.  The flowers of this, and many others of the same family, if cut off when fully open, and kept dry, will retain their form and brilliance a great many years.’  [LBC no.8, 1817].  ‘The beauty of the flowers, in the general sense of the word, consists in the whole genus in the rays of the Calyx, which are persistent and variously coloured.  In the present species the rays are of a bright crimson, especially on the outside, on which account, their brilliancy is seen to the greatest advantage before the flower is fully expanded. […] Introduced in 1789.’  [BM t.2365/1822].  BR f.21/1815.

History at Camden Park

Listed in the 1850 and 1857 catalogues [H.111/1850].  It may have been obtained from the London Horticultural Society.  It was included among desiderata in a letter to John Lindley, 15th February 1848, but not recorded as ‘arrived’ in Macarthur’s copy [MP A2933-1, p.157].  It was also requested of Kew Gardens at about the same time under the name Phaenocoma proliferum [MP A2933-1, p.165].  It was requested again of Kew on 1st February, 1849 [MP A2933-1, p.177].


Published Sep 17, 2009 - 04:26 PM | Last updated Feb 23, 2010 - 01:52 PM

Figured are scale-like leaves, and rose-coloured daisy-like everlasting flowers.  Curtis's Botanical Magazine t.2365, 1822.

Phaenocoma prolifera D.Don | BM t.2365/1822 | BHL

Family Asteraceae
Region of origin

South Africa

  • Helichrysum [Elichrysum] proliferum Willd.
  • Xeranthemum proliferum L.
Common Name
Name in the Camden Park Record

Helichrysum proliferum 

Confidence level high