For our first group of the year, Rebecca Hosking kindly supplied us with frozen samples of fruiting Coastal Ballart, Exocarpos syrticola.

Coastal Ballart
Coastal Ballart

This is not native to our area and Flora of Victoria’s key to the genus Exocarpos, as well as much group discussion, revealed some interesting similarities and differences between our local Cherry Ballart, Exocarpos cupressiformis, and Coastal Ballart:

  • The flower spike is much shorter in Coastal Ballart  
  • Both species have small alternately arranged scale-like leaves of similar shape
  • The fruiting parts provided the definitive difference, Coastal Ballart having a white to pink enlarged receptacle to which a smaller purple fruit is attached, clearly very different to the orange/red enlarged receptacle and green fruit of the Cherry Ballart. 

The fruit structure of these species is often not understood; the fruit is botanically known as a drupe (think stone fruit) and will contain one seed. The drupe sits on top of an enlarged floral part known as the receptacle, which is the end of the flower stalk to which the flower parts are joined. 

Gail Slykhuis

 

 

Fruit of Coastal Ballart, exocarpus syrticola, with purple drupes on enlarged receptacles. Photo, Rebecca Hosking

Plant Study Group Report Gail Slykhuis

For our first group of the year, Rebecca Hosking kindly supplied us with frozen samples of fruiting Coastal Ballart, Exocarpos syrticola. This is not native to our area and Flora of Victoria’s key to the genus Exocarpos, as well as much group discussion, revealed some interesting similarities and differences between our local Cherry Ballart, Exocarpos cupressiformis, and Coastal Ballart:

·       The flower spike is much shorter in Coastal Ballart 

·       Both species have small alternately arranged scale-like leaves of similar shape

·       The fruiting parts provided the definitive difference, Coastal Ballart having a white to pink enlarged receptacle to which a smaller purple fruit is attached, clearly very different to the orange/red enlarged receptacle and green fruit of the Cherry Ballart.

The fruit structure of these species is often not understood; the fruit is botanically known as a drupe (think stone fruit) and will contain one seed. The drupe sits on top of an enlarged floral part known as the receptacle, which is the end of the flower stalk to which the flower parts are joined. 

Events Calendar

Dec
18

Mon 11:00am - 1:00pm

Dec
19

Tue 9:00am - 12:00pm

Jan
5

Fri 7:30pm - 9:30pm

Jan
6

Sat 8:30am - 11:30am

Jan
8

Mon 9:30am - 11:00am

Weed of the month

Freesia

Freesia

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.

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