An Australian import has arrived for Southland gardens. This charming, small, blue daisy was a nursery mystery when it first arrived, identified only as Brachycome. If you looked up Brachycome in your Sunset Western Garden Book or Hortus Third last year, you learned only that this daisy was probably an annual called Swan River Daisy. But this new blue daisy was certainly not an annual, and adventurous gardeners recognized its long-lasting garden contribution almost immediately.
This year, we learn that Brachycome multifida is Hawkesbury River Daisy, named for the river outside of Sydney. It produces low-growing mounds of ferny foliage with tiny yellow-eyed blue daisies and blooms for a long period from spring into fall, demanding only good drainage and at least a half-day of sun. As a perennial, it needs shearing in late fall and a short rest in winter. True to its Australian heritage, it is moderately drought tolerant once established. It can be propagated by cuttings. Useful in pots, baskets, or as a low edging for borders, Hawkesbury river Daisy is sure to become a Southland perennial favorite.