Brown's Calocephalus (Calocephalus brownii) is a unique plant. The new classification singled it out into a monotypic species - Brown's Leukofit, which belongs to the Aster family. The birthplace of this original shrub is Australia.
Under natural conditions, it grows only in the south of the continent, in coastal sand dunes. It does not grow anywhere else in nature.
The plant is very well suited for indoor growing. It is resistant to drying out of the soil, lack of moisture, but requires a sufficient amount of sunlight. Poorly tolerates excess moisture. If the soil is too saturated with water, Calocephalus can weed out.
Brown's calocephalus is also called Leucophyta brownii, which means beautiful-headed in Greek. Among the people, the shrub was named "gray head" or "silver coral".
Calocephalus Brown - popular varieties:
Silver Nugget is the most popular variety. Differs in compactness and accuracy of shape. A thick silvery ball is decorated with small yellow flowers at a certain period. It is unpretentious, takes root well in indoor conditions, and is used in landscape design.
Moonshine is larger than the Silver Nugget. The bush has the shape of a dense ball, blooms beautifully. Well tolerates salinity, drought, can grow in the shade.
Silver Stone is the smallest of the varieties bred by breeders. A bush measuring 25x30 cm was created by scientists from North America. A distinctive feature is that this variety does not bloom.
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The plant does not possess any medicinal properties. But it has a good effect on the emotional state. Soft twigs are pleasant to the touch. Beautiful silver color and original shape cheer up and soothe.
Care of Calocephalus Brown
Gardeners, collectors, florists and just lovers of indoor plants are attracted by the original form of the shrub. The silver hemisphere has a slightly alien appearance. The shrub leaves are so small that it seems as if it consists of thin, intertwining twigs. Because of this, the English name of the plant is Cushion Bush. The bush can be compared to a coil of barbed wire, but very soft to the touch.
Lighting. The Australian Calocephalus brownii loves a lot of sun. When grown indoors, it is necessary to provide 6 hours of sunlight, it grows better on southern windows. Phytolamps can be used. With a lack of light, the branches will begin to stretch, the shape will be broken.
Temperature. Since this endemic is native to southern Australia, it easily tolerates heat. Low temperatures are destructive for the shrub. If the thermometer drops below 0, the plant must be provided with warmer conditions. Therefore, for the summer, it is better to plant Kalocephalus on open ground or take it out to the balcony. In winter, the pot must be brought into the room, and the temperature must be at least 16 degrees.
Humidity. Leukofit grows normally in drought conditions. Small leaves prevent moisture from evaporating, so it stays in the tissues of the plant. But excessive watering can destroy the bush. Excessive moisture leads to damping and death. Therefore, Calocephalus is very easy to care for.
Watering. When grown indoors, the plant does not need frequent watering. But at least once a week it must be provided with moisture. There should be enough water to pass through the drainage layer and excess water out through the drainage holes of the pot. With a decrease in daylight hours, Kalocephalus enters a state of rest, it can be watered less often. When used in landscaping, the plant needs occasional watering during prolonged drought.
Top dressing. An adult plant does not need regular fertilization. Of course, if the plant is healthy and care meets the requirements. Young shrubs need to be fed twice a month. Fertilizers are best chosen for succulents. They contain more phosphorus. When choosing sandy soil, adult plants can also be fed with mineral fertilizers.
Transfer. Calocephalus is a juvenile plant. This means that it needs to be changed every 2-3 years. Old plants lose their decorative appearance. The plant can be transplanted into pots, containers or open ground. Since the root system grows quite widely, the pot can be chosen wide, but shallow. The soil is suitable for neutral. A bush grows well on such soil: turf, leafy earth, sand in a ratio of 1: 1: 2. The plant gets along well with neighbors. It can be planted in a large container with other plants to create mini home gardens and compositions. It is imperative to provide good drainage with a layer of expanded clay.
Trimming and shaping. The plant has the shape of a hemisphere by nature. But to give it the perfect ball shape, you need to trim. To do this, after flowering, it is necessary to remove the wilted flowers. Twigs that are pulled or knocked out of the general shape are carefully cut. The tops of the twigs can be used for propagation by cuttings.
Bloom. Calocephalus bloom only in good conditions. There are varieties that don't bloom at all. A sturdy, strong plant grown on a special farm from seeds in the middle of summer can be covered with small yellow flowers. It is worth saying that these bushes are not grown for the sake of flowers. They are rather inconspicuous and do not decorate it. It is the twigs and shape that are its main advantage. After the flowers have faded, they must be removed from the branches.
Reproduction. You can propagate in two ways:
Seeds - they are sown in prepared soil in March. They sprout up to a month. To speed up the process, you can use stimulants (Epin, Potassium Humate). After the sprouts appear, the plant needs increased attention. Conditions for growing seedlings: temperature 20-24 degrees, lighting 12 hours a day. As you grow, the temperature can be reduced to 16 degrees;
Cuttings - after pruning in mid-summer, cuttings (tops of branches with two internodes) are planted in soil with a high sand content and a good drainage system. The soil temperature should be above 20 degrees. After rooting for the winter, the plants are transferred to a cold place, planted in the spring, but not during the frost period.
Since the seeds of Calocephalus are rarely on sale, it is easier and easier to propagate it by cuttings.
Diseases and pests. The plant itself does not get sick. All Calocephalus problems are related to pests. The bush came to the taste of aphids, snails, nematodes, slugs. Snails and slugs must be hand-picked. Watering and spraying fungicides can help eliminate other pests. Timely measures taken make it possible to keep the shrub healthy and strong.
Plant in winter. A resident of warm Australia, Kalocephalus does not tolerate frost. This is why many gardeners consider it an annual plant. But if you remove the container with a bush in a greenhouse or other room, it can survive the winter quite successfully. In the spring it can be planted again.
Indoors, Calocephalus tolerates winter well. Therefore, indoor plants bloom more often, stronger and stronger.
Interesting facts about Calocephalus brownii. Discovered by Calocephalus brownii by a Scottish botanist in 1817. Due to its unpretentiousness, they almost immediately began to use it in landscape design and decoration, floristry. The plant got to the countries of the former Soviet Union only 30 years ago and became popular. Today, flower growers use special methods to paint branches in different colors. Thanks to this, the plant takes on an even more fantastic look.
PHOTO CALOCEPHALUS BROWN