I find autumn is a lovely time to stroll in our bush and enjoy the subtle colours of flowers that are often hard to see.
At Fraser Avenue be on the lookout for two little beauties. You may see the low-growing Dwarf Boronia Boronia nana, which is a real gem with its small single, four-petalled white flowers with a blush of pink. It is flowering right out of its usual timeframe … maybe a ploy to be noticed in this quiet flowering season!
Another modest flower there is Slender Platysace Platysace heretrophylla. This scrambling plant has clusters of tiny creamy-white flowers which give it a lovely, delicate, lace-like effect.
Slender Platysace (photo by Margaret MacDonald)
This is a good time of year to see both of our Correas in flower.
The ever-popular Common Correa Correa reflexa, a more colourful plant, is brightening up our heathlands. It has strong- pink to red, or sometimes green tubular flowers, with a green tip.
White Correa Correa alba may be found in flower along the cliff tops, with white flowers with tubular petals curling back, instead of being fused into the more recognisable long tube.
Prickly Broom-heath Monotoca scoparia is an autumn flowering perennial of the heathlands. Last month, on Ted’s Track extension, I only saw tiny cream flowers on the male plants, which are identifiable by having several brownish stamens.
Male Prickly Broom-heath
This month it should be possible to see the female flowers as well, which have one central, pale-green ovary with stigma. However watch out for the rigid, prickly foliage when you are doing the ‘sex test’!
Female Prickly Broom-heath
While I was weeding at the Allen Noble sanctuary last month I was really pleased to find that I was ‘liberating’ Lesser Joyweed Alternathera denticulata. This modest scrambling plant is unknown and unseen by most people, but is an important plant of this wetland environment. It has widely-spaced, paired, soft, narrow leaves. The flowers are papery tufts of silvery-white growing at the bases of the leaves.
My favourite place to go in late autumn is the cliff-tops, in order to see the displays of the male Drooping Sheoak Allocasuarina verticillata. It has glowing tan-orange tassels on the ends of the long hanging branchlets.
Male Drooping Sheoak
The female sheoak has the nuts, and currently small globular orange to reddish flowers along the branches.
Female Drooping Sheoak
Enjoy your autumn walks and remember to carry your 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.