Actinotus helianthi - Flannel Flower

The gorgeous Flannel flower is related to celery, carrots, coriander, and the poisonous hemlock, some of the many children in the Apiaceae family. A common feature of this family is the way the flowers are clustered. The following photograph shows three Flannel flowers clustered.

The Actinotus genus is part of the Apiaceae family and contains 18 species. All are native to Australasia. Actinotus forsythii is a rare pink species. Actinotus novae-zelandiae is the only species growing in New Zealand. All the other species grow only in Australia and have the flannel flower colouring.

Actinotus helianthi, the Flannel Flower, grows in abundance around Sydney with flowers appearing from late spring through to summer. The first flowers appear in warm sunny spots protected from the cool southerly wind. The last flowers depend on the pattern of rain across summer and some shade to delay growth. The photographs on the page range from early October to the end of December.

The following plant is next to a huge range of plants in full flower but this one is in slightly more shade and has not started to flower.


Here are flannel flowers growing on a cold dry exposed cliff at the beach. The size of each plant is limited by too much sun and wind. Behind the cliff,in protected areas,the same plants are three times this size.