Isopogon anemonifolius    

Broad-leaf Drumsticks

Like golden orbs of spring sunshine, the densely packed terminal flower heads of the Isopogon radiate a yellow glow into the shrub layer of eucalypt forests and woodlands. Each yellow flower is only 10-12mm long and is surrounded by furry bracts.

After pollination the bracts become larger and woody and cluster tightly around the globular fruiting head which becomes the ‘drumstick’. After many years the bracts dry out and fall, releasing the seeds.

The seed is a nut, 2-3mm long, and covered with long fine hairs from which the name ‘Isopogon’ meaning ‘equal bearded’, is derived.

When not in flower this 1-2m tall upright shrub, is noticed for its foliage. Changing from rusty-red to mid-green, the leaves are so deeply dissected into multiple flat narrow segments that the leaf blade virtually disappears.

Family: Proteaceae

Kids Activity Trail

  • Did you know this plant is a source of pollen for insects? Cockatoos love to open the mature fruit to obtain the seeds
  • Interestingly the generic name is derived from the Greek isos, ‘equal’ and pogon, ‘beard’ and refers to the evenly hairy covering on the nut or seed of this plant

Image Credit: Sonja van As Isopogon anemonifolius (Drumsticks) 2000, carved sandstone, 55 x 100 x 85 cm, Wentworth Falls Lake Sculpture Project, Blue Mountains City Art Collection