On my summer rambles I have been pleasantly surprised at the number of plants in flower or with interesting seeds.
A special treat for me has been Angled Lobelia, Lobelia anceps, spreading out in some damp locations. The small, uneven, five-petalled blue flowers, with three lower fan-like petals, appear to dance around on their long, thin stems.
Succulents, of course, are hot, dry weather specialists, and I noticed some Karkalla, Carpobrotus rossi, with shining white centred, pink or magenta flowers in amongst the thick fleshy leaves.
Along Ted’s Track I found many Woolly Rice-flowers, Pimelia octophylla, with demure, nodding, woolly cream flower-heads.
Paper Flower, Thomasia petalocalyx, is still flowering in exposed places on coastal heathlands, with numerous small, mauve, nodding, papery flowers, and pale-green, hairy leaves.
Silky Guinea-flower Hibbertia sericea, with clusters of bright yellow flowers and small green hairy leaves, is brightening up many areas.
Along the clifftops I spied the unusual shining white flowers on Sea-box, Alyxia buxifolia. The small, white, propeller-like flowers make me think of my childhood toy windmills, and running along holding them up as they spun in the wind. The lush red berries that follow the flowers should be appearing this month.
Coastal Beard-heath, Leucopogon parviflorus, a common coastal bush, of variable size, with lots of small white, sweet seeds has also appeared.
Prickly Currant-bush, Coprosma quadrifida, a shrub found in moist forest/woodland, had small, eye-catching red berries. The foliage of the Currant-bush is easily confused with Sweet Bursaria which has been flowering profusely as described in the December newsletter, so the existence of red berries or white flowers is a very useful means of identification.
In many places, including my driveway, I saw Blackwood, Acacia melanoxylon, bearing and dropping copious numbers of twisted, curling narrow, leathery seedpods which I find quite entrancing. They open out to display numerous black seeds, surrounded by a conspicuous fleshy salmon pink ‘aril’ which attaches the seed to the wall of the pod.
I have saved the best for last, as, Ixodia achillaeoides subsp. alata, looks set this year to put on a great display. This low-growing shrub often grows in quite exposed and inhospitable locations and has dense clusters of shining, white, papery, daisy-like flowers.The rich-green, narrow leaves tend to curl downwards.
With a careful search who knows what little gems you might see, so remember to take 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.