Ptilotus is derived from the Greek, ptilon, meaning down or feathers, a reference to the appearance of the flowers across this genus. This exaltatus species is widespread from the eastern agricultural districts around the Norseman in Western Australia, then northward through most of the state, east into the Northern Territory, Queensland, New South Wales, and south-east into South Australia. But because its domain is predominantly arid germination occurs in conjunction with the right type of seasonal conditions. Even then the appearance of the actual plant and the volume of plants vary enormously. In a poor season it may only reach a few centimetres high with just 1 or 2 flowers per plant while in a very good year it can grown a metre high, with each plan having dozen or more stalks each bearing a flower, and set within a carpet of other plants and flowers. It grows well in disturbed ground and where there is good run-off water and therefore often grows along the sides of roads.
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