Harvest when 50% of the small buds or “grains” have reached full size but have not broke open. Do not harvest if more than 10% of the buds have broken open. Too mature flowers at harvest tend to fall apart while ones harvested too early often wilt. Thus, similar to rose harvesting!
Member of the Asteraceae or Compositae (aster or sunflower) family.
Native to Australia.
Common relatives include chrysanthemum, marigold, zinnia, sunflower and lettuce. Should not be confused with Pimelea, another Australian native flower with the same common name of rice flower.
Has many tiny white flower heads in dense clusters at stem ends.
Stems are mostly woody, with many linear leaves, one half inch long.
Plant is a woody shrub, classed as a dicotyledon.
Flowers are not fragrant.
Most likely 34-38F but hard data has not been located.
From the Greek “helios” (the sun) and “chryson” (golden).
The Compositae or aster family is vast, with over 20,000 species, and is also one of the most developed families. It was named Compositae because the flowers are actually a “composite” of many individual flowers into one head. Hence, when children pull one “petal” off at a time, saying “she/he loves me, loves me not”, they are actually removing a complete flower, not just a petal.
Two common names for Helichrysum are Everlasting and Immortelle in reference to the flowers lasting almost forever when dried.
I have found that a lot of our employees are allergic to it. They most commonly report itchy skin and hay fever like reactions (runny nose, itchy eyes and throat) I should however note that this is after a long exposure. About four hours making Bouquets that contain rice flower. We haven�t had many complaints when it is used briefly. (Vanessa Singleton)