|AMMOBIUM alatum, A. ‘Bikini’ - Winged Everlasting|
Asteraceae; native to Australia.
Germination: Sow outdoors anytime, spring or summer, up to 2 months before first fall frost. Or sow indoors, covering seed with 4 times its thickness in soil and maintaining a temperature of 68-75° F during germination, which takes 5-10 days. To grow Ammobium as an annual, sow indoors 6-8 weeks before planting outside.
Growth: In spring, space seedlings 15 inches apart in full sun and sandy soil enriched with humus. Keep the soil cultivated, water the plants frequently, and fertilize every other week. Deadheading encourages continued blooming. Ammobium transplants easily and performs best in 70-75° F days, 55-60° F nights.
Appearance and Use: Ideal for beds or small-space gardens, plants have attractive button-like blooms for fresh or dried arrangements. Well-branched, bushy plants, 12-36 inches tall and 15 inches wide, form a basal rosette of slender, wooly, silvery-green 7-inch leaves. The common name, Winged Everlasting, refers to the raised edges or wings on the thick golden stems and branches. Button-like white blooms with yellow centers, 3/4-1 inch wide, arise in summer.A. ‘Bikini’ — 1996 Fleuroselect Gold Medal. Blooms are held on stiff 12- to 16-inch stems.
NASA Seeds in Space
"Simply cutting off any deteriorating leaves, stems, or flowers can improve the overall appearance of a plant," Tracy DiSabato-Aust, The Well-Tended Perennial Garden-Planting & Pruning Techniques