A 12-strong team from the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria (RBGV) at Cranbourne visited last month to familiarise themselves with Anglesea heathland species that may be added to the Cranbourne collection, especially those with horticultural potential or which are rare or endangered.
Another aim was to collect specimens to propagate for Cranbourne’s 1500 sq. m Ironbark Garden.
The first stop was to the Ironbark Basin where the Velvet Daisy Bush, Olearia pannosa, was in riotous bloom on Point Addis Rd. It took nearly three hours to walk 300 m as the visitors investigated the rich plant diversity of the roadsides and took specimens.
Trent Loane, who is in charge of the Ironbark Garden, wants to replace many of its existing store-bought plants with wild specimens whose provenance is known.
The RBGV has its own collection permit and its protocols are strict. The precise site of each species collected is recorded, both manually and with GPS. No plants that could hybridise with the Cranbourne locals can be collected—which mean that the Common Correa, Correa reflexa, escaped the secateurs!
The team then went to look at the stunted and windswept Ironbark, Eucalyptus tricarpa, overlooking Southside Beach, visited a member’s property to record the Anglesea Grey Gum, Eucalyptus littoralis, and gather some more cuttings.
Overall, the day yielded cuttings of some 20 species which you may just recognise on a future trip to Cranbourne.
Finally, Bill McKellar and Ellinor Campbell took the visitors to see the Anglesea Grevillea, Grevillea infecunda—their second Anglesea endemic of the day (see photo in the Flora report).
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.