Olearia named after Johann Gottfried Ölschläger (1603-1671), 17th century German horticulturist and author of a flora of Halle in Germany (his name was latinized to Olearius). Alternatively, it maybe from the Latin 'olearius' pertaining to oil, from 'olea', for olive tree; alluding to the first named species resembling the olive. Passerinoides means resembling Passerina, of sparrows or sparrow-like but unsure of the reference to the species.
Distribution and status
Found on the Eyre Peninsula and in Muarry in South Australia, growing in mallee on sand dunes, sclerophyll forest and open shrubland. Also found in Western Australia, New South Wales and Victoria. Native. Uncommon in South Australia. Uncommon in the other states.
Herbarium regions: Eastern, Eyre Peninsula, Murray
NRM regions: Eyre Peninsula, South Australian Arid Lands, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)
Shrub to 2 m high. Leaves alternate, linear to 12 mm long, pex acute or rounded, appressed to the stems. Flowers terminal, solitary with 6-9 white or pale mauve ray florets and yellow desk florets. Flowering between November and April. Differ from the other subspecies found in South Australia, Olearia passerinoides spp. glutescens, which has clustered flower-head, 8-15 ray florets, long and spreading leaves and seeds to 20 mm long. Fruits are pale brown daisy head. Seeds are brown short cylindrical seed to 2 mm long (excluding the pappus), covered in scattered hairs and long pappus bristles at one end. Seed embryo type is spatulate fully developed.
Seed collection and propagation
Collect seeds between December and June. Collect heads that are large and fluffy. Either pick off the whole heads or use your finger and pull off the seeds from the head. Mature seeds will come off easily. Place the heads in a tray for a week to dry. No cleaning is required if only pure seeds are collected. If heads are collected, then rub the heads gently with your hands to dislodge the seeds. Viable seeds will be fat and hard. Store the seeds with a desiccant such as dried silica beads or dry rice, in an air tight container in a cool and dry place. Seeds are non-dormant, viable seed should germinate readily.