On a pleasant sunny morning a group of ANGAIR members went to the Lookout Flora Reserve for the Nature Ramble on Monday 13th February.
Being towards the end of a very dry summer, the vegetation was looking greatly in need of rain. But, despite this, several species were flowering and brightening the mostly brown landscape.
We started the walk at the rebuilt concrete lookout structure, with wonderful views of Pt Roadnight.
This area is typical heathland; low-growing plants and small shrubs, few trees.
One of the lowest-growing plants is the Cranberry Heath - Astroloma humifusum. The bluish foliage has rich, red, bell-shaped flowers hidden among the leaves; it flowers in late summer and autumn.
A plant which spreads among and climbs over other small plants is Slender Dodder-laurel - Cassytha glabella forma dispar. Its tiny white round flowers really stand out among the brown stems and foliage.
There were banksia plants – Banksia marginata in flower but not tall because of the harsh conditions at this site.
One plant which always looks cheerful is the Propeller Plant – Spyridium vexilliferum var. vexilliferum. The pale ‘petals’ are in fact bracts – floral leaves; the flowers in the centre of these bracts are very small and insignificant.
Twiggy Daisy-bush – Olearia ramulosa stood out with its small, white daisy flowers, growing to one metre in height.
The Moonahs – Melaleuca lanceolata were in full bloom; the cream bottlebrush flowers showing up clearly against the dull green leaves.
It was interesting to see a large variety of plants and to try and identify them, mostly without their flowers.
Photos by Gail Slykhuis
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.