These happy little flowers, native to Australia, bring a unique look whether they’re dried or fresh, used as a border plant in your garden, or popped in a lovely vase to brighten up a room.
No wonder then, that Billy Buttons are one of the most popular product in the FAA dried flower stem range. And social media platforms such as Pinterest or Instagram are flooded with images of them, alongside lots of nifty DIY and interior design ideas.
We had a lot of fun putting together this ultimate guide to Billy Buttons for you. Find the answers to how to grow them, how to care for them, how to use them fresh or dried. Find out how to create a happy vibe, use them in a beautiful flower arrangement, or even how to decorate a wedding cake with them!
So if you’re curious about all things Billy Button, then come on this journey with us.
What are Billy Buttons?
Its flowers are like golden pom-poms topped with a woolly tuft of hair. Although its botanical name is Craspedia Globosus, most people will only know the plant by its common name, Billy Button. It so fittingly describes its distinctive and quite unique flower.
Depending on the variety, Billy Buttons stems can grow to anything between 10 and 60 cm in height in Australia!
These Aussie gems belong to the daisy family. They have no problem thriving in forests, grasslands, or coastal areas, but feel especially at home in the warm climate of Eastern New South Wales. If you are ever headed to the Kosciusko National Park, check the wildflower season! This National Park is well known for its Billy Buttons.
The plant itself is a perennial, but the flowering season typically stretches through spring and summer, about 12 weeks on average. In hot climates, you may even get flowers all year round!
Billy Buttons make excellent cut flowers and will add a sunny pop of colour whether fresh or dried.
How to grow Billy Buttons
Good news all around! These plants are easy to grow, even from seeds. They are not too precious when it comes to looking after them.
To have your own patch of golden pom-poms, all you have to do is sprinkle your Billy Button seeds on prepared soil, then cover them lightly with it. In warmer areas, you can sow them directly outdoors. In colder climates, it’s best to sow them in a seed tray and wait out the last frosts before you send them outside.
Use good quality seed mix, place them in a shady but warm spot, keep your soil evenly moist and wait. After about 2 -3 weeks your seeds will have germinated and when they’re about 7 cm tall, they will be ready to be transplanted to their garden or balcony spot. You can expect your first harvest in about 12 weeks!
If you decide to grow Billy Buttons in a pot, make sure it is a very deep one and gets plenty of sunshine.
How to care a Billy Button Plant
This is a fuss-free plant. It can tolerate dry periods and even a light frost.
Here are a few simple tricks and tips to keeping it healthy and looking its best:
- Like most Australians, Billy Buttons are sun-loving. So make sure your plant gets plenty of direct sunlight, ideally 6 hours or more. If you keep them as an indoor plant, make sure you’ve got them soaking up the sun near a window.
- Billy Buttons are not too worried about the soil they grow in, as long as it’s well-draining. For a treat though, give them an extra layer of mulch. Gravel works best. They’ll help control soil temperature around the plant and will also help keep the weeds in check.
- Water and fertiliser? That’s an easy one as well. Water when the topsoil feels dry. If you want to give them an extra boost during the growing season, use a slow-release fertiliser that works for Australian natives.
Dried Billy Buttons - all you need to know
Did we mention how fuss-free Billy Buttons are? Whether fresh or dried, they are the easiest and quickest pick-me-up flower you’ll ever find.
Their lovely dried stems are only a mouse click away. As a bonus (well two, in fact), if you choose professionally dried Billy Buttons, you can get them in a variety of stunning colours, such as a muted white, or a vibrant green or red. With a bit of TLC, professionally dried flowers are also long-lasting; you can enjoy them for up to two years!
If you are harvesting your own Billy baubles though, drying them is a simple affair. They’ve got quite sturdy, straight stems and a solid pom-pom of a flower. All you have to do is carefully hang them upside down in a bunch. It’s important to keep them in a warm, dry and dark place and out of a draft. As soon as they are dehydrated, they will be ready to get creative!
Just remember that whatever you decide, your dried blooms should always be out of direct sunlight, away from curious small hands and paws (the furry kind) and in a dry sheltered place. To make sure they are looking their best for as long as possible, check out our step by step guide on how to care for your dried flowers.
Cute as a button decorating and DIY ideas
This is the fun part!
There are so many creative people out there who are incredibly crafty, with an eye for design, and the ability to make simple things look beautiful.
First of all, let’s have a look at some bouquets and see what the professional team at Flowers Across Australia has incorporated their Billy Button stems.
Itty Bitty Misty
This simple bouquet is the current crowd favourite! Muted tones and a simple combination of preserved Misty, white Billy Button and the humble gum make this little darling the perfect present. Of course, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with gifting this one to yourself. We do deserve a little treat now and then. And this Itty Bitty Misty will definitely add a bit of boho-chic to your favourite room and give you that happy pick-me-up!
This fluffy, pastel pink creation is made up of palm leaves, ferns, preserved Misty and white Billy Buttons. Valentine’s Day is not far away, just saying!
It’s the perfect name for this playful creation. You can’t miss the bright yellow Billy Buttons here. They smile at you like sweet lollipops. Paired with creamy Hydrangea, fluffy Emu Feather, and contrasting the darker coconut fibre, the golden baubles really pop here.
Billy Buttons are such a versatile bloom. They can add a touch of quirky to any arrangement. They will pair with and complement any number of colour shades and shapes, different blooms and foliage.
But they can also absolutely hold their own. Depending on the vase or vessel, even just a single stem can add a modern look, a boho vibe or a sprinkle of grace to any space!
What’s more, yellow remains a completely on-trend colour this year, along with hues of blue and earthy tones.
Why not browse our collection of Billy Button products that are perfect for any home decor setting, or perfect for a stunning gift.
Another way to make those little beauties shine is in floral arrangements for events. Think of a long lunch, a winery, an autumn wedding, late summer sun gatherings and Billy Buttons. Talking about wedding festivities. Have a look at these spectacular decoration ideas: simple buttonholes, quirky bouquets, eye-catching centrepieces, the most lovely wedding bouquets and stunning table decorations. There’s so much inspiration in these photos!
And finally, we thought we need to give a special shoutout to delectable cakes, clever cake decorators and patisserie chefs.
Billy Buttons never looked sweeter. Have a look at this clever idea for a sweet treat. And last but by no means least, we invite you to scroll down on this site here. The simple but creative decorations on the cakes are out the gate, almost too good to cut into! What do you think?
Why are they called Billy Buttons?
Their botanical name is Craspedia globosus. But have you ever wondered why they are commonly called Billy Buttons? So have we! And we’ve come across some interesting and fun facts:
- BUT! We still haven’t found a definitive answer to that question! Can you help?
- Billy seems to be a popular name. Apart from Billy the Kid, there are quite a few other ‘Billys” out there. We stumbled across the billy can for our billy tea. There’s of course the billy goat, but there’s also the billy stick and the billy cart (a homemade go-cart)
- They are sometimes called Billy Balls, drumsticks (not the chicken kind), and Woolyheads.
- We reckon they could easily be called Billy Lollipops :)
What is your favourite Billy Button idea? We’d love for you to share it with us!