Have you noticed that both of our Correas have been in flower over the last month – the red or green, attractive tubular flowers of C. reflexa Common and Green Correa, and the white, more open flowers of C. alba White Correa?
Common and Green Correa
We are always grateful for these, as garden specimens of Correas are perfect as part of table decorations at the ANGAIR dinner.
Epacris impressa Common Heath, which I wrote about in May, is approaching its peak flowering time, and with its range of gorgeous colours, will continue to brighten up the heathlands into spring.
However, I find that July is a great time to take brisk walks, and just enjoy the well-watered vegetation, with its varied shades of delicate green shining in the weak, dappled sunlight. A special winter treat is the carpets of moist mosses and lichen.
I am luxuriating in the wonderful scents, such as eucalyptus after rain, and, of course, those of wattle, which, over winter, is mainly the delightful aroma of Acacia suaveolens Sweet Wattle. I have been on the lookout for the globular fluffy flower-heads on the low, scraggly bushes of the rare wattle Acacia gunnii Ploughshare Wattle. I really like its unusual, asymmetrical, pointed phyllodes, which are almost triangular.
I feel taunted at this time of year by a range of common wattles which have flower buds for weeks or months, while waiting for warmer weather before bursting into flower. Acacia verniciflua Varnish Wattle has paired buds on short stems along the branches, which to me look a bit like eyes.
Buds on Varnish Wattle
Later this month, if you are a good observer, you may spot honeyeaters flitting into the low vegetation. They could be after our most secretive of flowers, and the one I have chosen as Flower of the Month, the aptly named Honeypots Acrotriche serrulata. The small flowers are hidden at the base of the woody stems, and are often awash with sweet nectar – a taste sensation!
Along the cliff tops, I have been waiting for the appearance of the modest flowers of Pimelia serpyllifolia subsp. serpyllifolia Thyme Rice-flower, which now look close to flowering. After years of photographing bushes with the more showy specimens, and assuming that the others were more immature, I discovered that, no, the clusters of less colourful flowers were not infants, but in fact female flowers. It is a dioecious plant, which means that the male and female flowers are on different plants. The female flowers are in pale-yellow, tight clusters, which span out sideways, displaying tiny, bulbous, vase-shaped flowers.
Thyme Rice-flower (female)
The male flowers are more upright and obvious, as they have bright yellow stamens in the centre of the four-petalled flowers – you live and learn!
Thyme Rice-flower (male)
I wonder what you might find, so be sure to carry Flowers of Anglesea and Aireys Inlet.
Freesia refracta and Freesia alba X F. leichtlinii are declared weeds in the Surf Coast Shire because they spread easily and threaten to invade bushland. Freesias are perennial herbs that die back in summer and produce new foliage in winter. The highly fragrant trumpet-shaped flowers appearing in spring are white to cream and pink with yellow markings, shaded purple on outer surface. Each plant has at least two corms, one below the other, thus requiring deep digging to remove them.
More details about how to control this weed can be found in the archive of Weeds of the Month.
There are a number of wonderful local Friends Groups that provide ANGAIR members and the community with opportunities for involvement.