I first saw Everlastings growing wild in the Hex River Mountains north of Cape Town. White, low growing, with appealing papery-white flowers, it was very tempting to pick some, as I know they dry well and last for years. I have recently been on the search for South African Everlastings, and although I do sometimes see them, they are difficult to get hold of here in the UK.
There is a very similar group of plants from Australia that fill the gap and are much easier to find. These are Helichrysums (recently renamed as Xerochrysums) and they are now available in a wonderful range of colours, many of which I will be trying this year.
Choice Mix Fiireball Salmon
Golden Yellow Lemon Yellow Orange
Bright Rose Silvery Rose White
Helichrysums are frost tender annuals, and grow easily from seed. They are best used in borders and for filling your flower vases all year long. Sow the seeds indoors in spring, and plant them in a hot sunny border once all risk of frost has passed. Helichrysums grow best in a sunny place in average to poor well-drained soil.
I am looking at a bunch of dried Helichrysums now, as I write this, hanging from a peg on the wall, reminding me of that hot sunny walk near Cape Town.