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Natural populations

The natural distribution of Cassinia aculeata is south of Forster in New South Wales, and through Victoria and Tasmania. Cassinia aculeata occurs in dry eucalypt, woodland and heath vegetation communities and is a coloniser of disturbed areas, particularly after fire.

Flowering and seeds

Flowers and fruits in summer; it readily seeds producing many wind dispersed achenes. Seed quickly germinates 2-3 weeks after sowing [88].

Cultivation and uses

This species tolerates a wide range of soils and moderate frosts, is fast growing and suitable for erosion control. It has the potential to be weedy outside of its natural range. The aromatic leaves and showy white flowers make it useful as an ornamental.

Key descriptors:

Climate parameters
Mean annual rainfall: 550-3000 mm
Rainfall distribution pattern: uniform or winter
Mean annual temperature: 6-16 °C
Mean max. temperature of the hottest month: 15-31 °C
Mean min. temperature of the coldest month: -3-8 °C
Frosts (approx. no. per year): greater than 20
Frost intensity: light to moderate (0 to -5°C)
Altitude: 0-1550 metres
Tolerance of climate extremes
Drought: known to be moderately drought tolerant
Fire: killed by damaging fire does not regenerate foliage
Frost: tolerates frosts in the 0° to -5°C range
Wind: tolerates salt-laden coastal winds
Soil factors
Texture: clay loam, light to medium clay (35-50% clay), loam, sandy loam, sandy clay loam or sand
Soil pH reaction: acidic (less than 6.5) (?)
Soil depth: skeletal to shallow (less than 30 cm)
Drainage:  well-drained
Biological traits under cultivation
Habit: evergreen shrub less than 2 m tall
Longevity: short-lived less than 15 years
Growth rate: fast
Root system: shallow and spreading
Erosion control potential: excellent for clayey sites or excellent for sandy sites
Windbreak potential: tolerates salty coastal winds
Shade tolerance: grows best in full sunlight or tolerates partial shade
Potentially undesirable attributes
Weediness: high potential based on its biology

References

[88] Understorey Network Plant Database (2006), Tasmania. (Online resource) http://www.understorey-network.org.au/index.html (Accessed: February 2008)

Internet links

PlantNet NSW Flora Online – species description & distribution: http://plantnet.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/cgi-bin/NSWfl.pl?page=nswfl&lvl=sp&name=Cassinia~aculeata

Sustainable Gardening Australia: http://www.sgaonline.org.au/plant_cassiniaaculeata.html

Understorey Network: http://www.understorey-network.org.au/ASTERACEAE/Cassinia_aculeata.html

Museum of Victoria: http://museumvictoria.com.au/forest/plants/cassinia.html

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