Rice Flower – Ozothamnus diosmifolius (Helichrysum diosmifolium)

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Rice Flower – Ozothamnus diosmifolius  (Helichrysum diosmifolium)

Common Name: Rice Flower

Botanical Name: Ozothamnus diosmifolius (Helichrysum diosmifolium), oz-o-THAM-nus di-os-mi-FOL-ee-us (hel-i-CRY-sum di-os-mi-FOL-ee-um)

Decorative Life: From 7 to 14 days.

Flower Color: ,

Availability:

Harvest Instructions:

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!

Family Roots:
  • 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.
Personality:
  • 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.
Storage Specifics:

Most likely 34-38F but hard data has not been located.

Tidbits:
  • 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.
Personal Experience:

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)