Late spring still has many colourful, flowering plants in the bushland but note that a number of plants are now forming seed pods and capsules ready for next year’s germination.
The Acacias are already well advanced with this process. Here are a few plants that you may come across in your rambles in the Anglesea area:
Chocolate Lily Arthropodium strictum
This perennial herb is erect, tufted to 120cm. It has long, narrow leaves with single, mauve or deep pink flowers appearing on branched upright stems in late spring. The three petals have frilled margins and have a chocolate scent. Chocolate Lilies have tubers and are found in grassy plains and woodlands. They are locally abundant and can be seen at Edna Bowman Reserve in Anglesea.
Blue-spike Milkwort Comesperma calymega
The Blue-spike Milkwort is a small erect shrub, which grows mostly in dry, sandy heathland. It flowers in late spring. The small, deep blue pea-like flowers on short stalks are borne towards the top of the flower stems. Each flower has a bright yellow centre. The leaves are alternate along the stem to the clustered flowers, or may only be in the lower part of the stem. It arises annually from a short woody rhizome and is widespread and common in the area.
Paper Flower Thomasia petalocalyx
This shrub grows to about 1m high in heathy woodland and coastal heaths. It flowers from late spring to autumn. The leaves are dark green and hairy with deeply impressed veins on the upper surface. It is covered with papery mauve-pink nodding flowers and is an attractive plant that can be shaped or hedged in a garden setting.
Woolly Rice-flower Pimelea octophylla
The Woolly Rice-flower is a shrub up to 45cm high, growing in heathland, with large, nodding scented cream to pale yellow terminal flower heads. The paired narrow leaves lie close to the stem. The foliage is soft to the touch and covered with white wispy hairs. A very attractive and graceful plant, it is locally common, flowering in late spring and summer.
Sprawling Bluebell Wahlenbergia gracilis
This tufted, slender sprawling perennial herb often has many branches. It grows to about 20cm high and flowers in late spring in heathland, gardens and disturbed sites. It has a taproot, lance-shaped narrow leaves, and small soft, pale blue, five petalled flowers with petals up to 6mm long.
When out and about always have Flowers of Anglesea and Aireys Inlet with you so that you can recognise the plants you come across. Enjoy the remainder of spring.
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.