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

Aug
17

Thu 9:00am - 12:00pm

Aug
21

Mon 11:00am - 1:00pm

Aug
22

Tue 9:00am - 11:00am

Weed of the month

Bushy Yate

Bushy Yate

Bushy Yate, Eucalyptus lehmannii, is an evergreen densely rounded tree to 8m with spread of 3m. It is endemic to the south coast of Western Australia but has naturalised into the Surf Coast cliffs, coastal areas and bushland where it seeds prolifically. The orange flower pods form clusters like fingers extending from a hand and the horned seed capsules are fused at the base in clusters of five to eight.

More details about how to control this weed can be found in the archive of Weeds of the Month.

Sign up for membership

ANGAIR membership gives you access to a range of great activities and benefits. Learn more about all these benefits as well as how to sign up and renew.

Sign Up

Get to know your local Friends groups

There are a number of wonderful local Friends Groups that provide ANGAIR members and the community with opportunities for involvement.

Find a local group

Go to top