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An evergreen shrub of bushy shape 2 to 3 ft high and as much or more wide, with thick stems woody at the base which produce annually stout, erect, semi-herbaceous shoots, sticky to the touch, scurfy, and densely clothed with leaves over their whole length. Leaves linear-oblong to oblanceolate, pointed, tapering at the base, the margins usually more or less toothed, often coarsely, shortly or not at all stalked, 2 to 41⁄2 in. long, 1⁄3 to 3⁄4 in. wide, grey-green, sticky when young, ultimately thickly sprinkled with small circular patches of dried gum. Flower-heads produced during the summer singly from the end of the shoot on a stout erect stalk up to 12 or 15 in. long; they are about 3 in. wide, both the ray-and the disk-florets of a rich bright yellow; ray-florets pointed, about 1 in. long, 1⁄8 to 3⁄16 in. wide. Bracts of the involucre awl-shaped to narrowly triangular, 3⁄8 to 1⁄2 in. long. Bot. Mag., t. 9471.
A native of Argentina in dry places from about 30° to 50° S., and probably also occurring in bordering parts of Chile. It was first described from a plant growing in the Ghent Botanic Garden, said to have been raised from seeds received from Chile, though the epithet chiloensis, which implies that it came from the island of Chiloe off the Pacific coast of Chile, may have been given in error, since it is unlikely to occur so far west.
It seems originally to have been introduced to Britain by H. Wooler of Upper Tulse Hill, about 1850, seeds having been sent to him by his son, who found it just above high-water mark at a place called New Bay on the coast of Patagonia. In 1911 it was flowered at The Elms, Yalding, Kent, by Captain S. G. Reid. The plants at present in cultivation were raised from seed collected in 1925-6 by H. F. Comber. It is grown at Kew, and in many of the gardens in the south of England, in all places hardy but more truly shrubby in the warmer places. Wooler, its first cultivator, was quite successful with it over ninety years ago. According to Lindiey and Paxton, who figure it in their Flower Garden, iii, p. 119, he had thirty to forty flower-heads open on his plant at one time. An interesting character of the plant is the coating of pale gum which covers the top of the flower-head whilst it is in the bud state. The flowers are not very agreeably scented but the young shoots have a pleasant and slightly aromatic fragrance.