Coronidium 'Helping Hand'
Synonyms: Helichrysum 'Helping Hand', Helichrysum elatum 'Helping Hand'
A Year to Celebrate Volunteers
2001 was declared the International Year of Volunteers (IYV) by the United Nations, with the support and participation of countries all around the world. The purpose of the IYV is to celebrate the vital contribution of volunteers to all aspects of community life and to recognise the extent, diversity and value of the work volunteers do.
The IYV sought to encourage the promotion of volunteering and the wide range of volunteer opportunities that can provide enduring benefits to each volunteer participant and to their communities.
Developing 'Helping Hand'
The development of what was known as Helichrysum 'Helping Hand' as the floral emblem of the International Year of Volunteers was a partnership between the Australian National Botanic Gardens in Canberra and Volunteering ACT. The Gardens is Australia's premier native plant botanic garden and has an active volunteer program. Volunteering ACT assists the ACT community by referring volunteers and providing development opportunities for volunteers and those involved in their management.
The name of 'Helping Hand'
The correct name of this plant has become complicated.
In 2001 this plant was an un-named species included in a very wide definition of the genus Helichrysum. In the years since, the group of plants to which it belonged within Helichrysum was given a new genus name, 'Coronidium'.
Thus as a cultivar it became Coronidium 'Helping Hand'.
But the plant was then recognised as a distinct species in 200X and given the name Coronidium telfordii, named in honour of Ian Telford who worked as a botanist at the Australian National Botanic Gardens from 1967 to 1998.
Where can I buy Coronidium 'Helping Hand'?
Coronidium 'Helping Hand' was released through State and Territory Volunteering Centres from November 2001.
Contact your local centre by phone on 1300 654 643 or call Volunteering ACTon (02) 6251 4060.
Growing 'Helping Hand'
'Helping Hand' grows best in full sun or semi-shade, in well-drained soil. It is also suitable for pot cultivation.
Keep the soil damp, but not wet, by deep weekly watering (more often in summer).
Allow the foliage to dry completely between waterings and do not water open flowers (water early in the morning when the flowers are closed if you can).
Fertilise with a slow-release fertiliser suitable for native plants.
Prune lightly after flowering to encourage new growth.
NOTE: Some problems have been noted with fungal attack in damp conditions.