Billy ButtonsYellow Billybutton

The Yellow Billybutton (Calocephalus platycephalus) belong to the genus Calocephalus, which comes from the Greek kalos meaning beautiful and kephalus meaning heads. There are two native species of Calocephalus found growing in Central Australia and Northern Territory. The other is Calocephalus knappii.

The yellow ‘Billy buttons‘ are one of the popular flowering plants seen in the arid inland region of Australia, especially in Central Australia, together with the Poached Egg Daisy (Polycalymma stuartii).

Yellow Billybutton (Calocephalus platycephalus), Ilparpa Claypans, Alice Springs NT
Yellow Billybutton (Calocephalus platycephalus), Ilparpa Claypans, Alice Springs NT

C. platycephalus has the globular compound yellow flower with a flattened top, approximately 10 – 30 mm wide. It flowers mainly in spring. The stems and leaves are white-woolly, the leaves up to 3 cm long.

Common name
Billybuttons, Billy Buttons, Yellow Top, Western Beauty-heads, ‘Drumstick’ Flower.


  • Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Clade: Tracheophytes
  • Clade: Angiosperms
  • Clade: Eudicots
  • Clade: Asterids
  • Order: Asterales
  • Family: Asteraceae
  • Tribe: Gnaphalieae
  • Genus: Calocephalus
  • Species: C. platycephalus
  • Binomial name: Calocephalus platycephalus
  • Species: C. knappii
  • Binomial name: Calocephalus knappii

Footnote & References

  1. PlantNET, New South Wales Flora Online – Calocephalus platycephalus
  2. Australian Aridlands Botnic Garden – Soft billy buttons (Craspedia pleiocephala)
  3. Department of Land Resource Management – Plants (Herbarium) – Plant Species List

Billy ButtonsYellow Billybutton

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