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 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.
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.