Despite the dryness, so many of my favourite flowers are on show now that I would like to share some of them with you.
Last month, when out looking for some of our rarer flora for horticulturists from the Cranbourne botanical gardens, I was very excited to see, and photograph for the first time, a flowering specimen of our unique Anglesea Grevillea, G. infecunda. It has been extensively studied, as it is most unusual in not reproducing by seed, making its future uncertain. About 12 clones have been identified. Unfortunately, it hides itself out the back of Anglesea, in places such as along Gum Flats Road.
While on the grevillea hunt with the Cranbourne team, I had a brief conversation with someone who was adamant that she had seen this grevillea at Teds Track in Aireys Inlet…if only! It was most likely a plant with a similar leaf, Holly Lomatia, Lomatia ilicifolia. A good way to identify either of them is to check the underside of the leaves, as the lomatia is green, while the grevillea is white. Holly Lomatia mostly only flowers after fire, with a creamy white spike of a grevillea-type flower.
Holly Lomatia. The font leaf is the underside, The leaf behind shows the upper surface
Underside of Anglesea Grevillea
At Fraser Avenue I have been delighted to see some delicate, fragrant, white and waxy, four-petalled flowers of Dwarf Boronia, B. nana, which we had looked for in vain for the Show display.
Pea flowers are always a pleasure to see. When on the Distillery Creek nature trail looking for daisies, I was caught by surprise to see the rare, delicate blue flowers of Twining Glycine, G. clandestina, curling in and around what had been my target, a daisy bush. Previously I have only ever seen it near the pony club in Anglesea, and not for several years.
In contrast, another twining plant with very tiny, blue pea-like flowers, Love Creeper, Comesperma volubile, is quite common. It may appear unexpectedly overnight twining appealingly around low-growing plants on its mostly leafless stems.
On the track at the back of the golf course I am always on the lookout for erect pink clusters of Heath Milkwort, Comesperma ericinum, standing out above the lower plants in the dense heath.
A small yellow beauty is the upright Leafless Globe-pea, Sphaerolobium minus, with spikes of tiny yellow flowers up the leafless stem.
There are some gorgeous blue lilies. I have had delightful glimpses of the small fringed flowers of Twining Fringe Lily, Thysanotus patersonii, another leafless plant. Did you know that the individual flowers last only a day or so, as with many of these lilies?
Twining Fringe Lily
But there are multiple replacements to follow on. This month there are two other upright, and larger, fringe lilies to see: Common Fringe Lily, Thysanotus tuberosus subsp. tuberosus, and Branching Fringe Lily,Thysanotus racemoides.
I have mostly missed seeing the Short Purple-flag, Patersonia fragilis, but will be on the lookout for the Long Purple-flag, Patersonia occidentalis.
I will be checking out the Allen Noble Sanctuary where they have been planted, though many have died off. The single flowers stand up higher than the strap-like, clumping foliage.
A common favourite is the single mauve flowers of Chocolate Lily, Arthropodium strictum, which has petals with attractive wavy edges, and a delightful scent.
Be sure to carry your Flowers of Anglesea and Aireys Inlet in order to help with identification of plants.
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.