Alexis authors today's entry:
davallia@UBC Botanical Garden forums shares these photos from the Maranoa Gardens of Melbourne, Australia. Thanks, davallia!
Xanthosia rotundifolia is a member of the Apiaceae or carrot family. Historically, it was often categorized in the Mackinlayaceae, but all members of that family have now moved to the Apiaceae. Xanthosia includes about 20 species in total, all of which are endemic to temperate Australia. Xanthosia rotundifolia is native to southwest Australia, naturally occurring in at least three biogeographic regions: Warren, Esperance Plains, and Jarrah Forest. These regions have a Mediterranean climate defined by wet winters and dry summers and mean monthly temperatures that can reach the high 20s (degrees Celsius) but never fall below freezing.
Xanthosia rotundifolia is an erect or sprawling perennial herb growing 60cm high and spreading about 1m wide. (Blackall and Grive's How to Know Western Australian Wildflowers published in 1980). Its common name, Southern Cross, comes from the resemblance of the inflorescence to the constellation of the same name. The four stalks of the inflorescence create a cross, with clusters of white to pink flowers and bracts on each end.