Pukatea/Jersey Cudweed Helichrysum luteoalbum
Native. Not threatened.
Despite its common English name it is regarded as having arrived in Aotearoa New Zealand before mankind. Growing around the periphery of the wet areas of the Dune Garden, it can also grow in a variety of other different habits such as meadows, road verges and waste ground. In fact, it can thrive adequately in most dry conditions, even in poor soil but if found growing in fertile areas they can be very prolific and become invasive over time.
It is an easily distinguished plant that can reach 50cm in height and has greyish-green leaves which can be furry. Flower buds develope in spring and have a reddish tip before opening. These are borne mostly on the top of the plant and are yellow-white. These are attractive to many insects which pollinate them, and the mass of seed produced translates into a good number of seedlings, but most unfortunately don’t seem to reach maturity in the dunes.