I went for a heathland walk in mid-January, and was delighted to find a number of low-growing plants in flower, which hopefully may last until February.
Woolly Rice-flower Pimelia octophylla was still going strong, with its demure, nodding, woolly, cream flower-heads.
The gorgeous purple flowers of Branching Fringe Lily Thysanotus juncifolius also put in an appearance – their fringed petals are always worth a closer look.
I thought that there would be no peas in sight, but there were many examples of the yellow form of Gompholobium ecostatum Dwarf Wedge-pea, with its single, quite large and showy flowers. There were large, round, green seed-pods developing, which will turn black.
There were many examples still around of the five-petalled, yellow flowers on the shrubs of Erect Guinea-flower Hibbertia riparia.
More care was needed to find the yellow flowers of Prickly Geebung Persoonia juniperina, as the tubular flowers, with curled-back petals, are almost hidden in the inhospitable, rich yellow/green foliage, giving the whole plant a yellowish tinge.
I also enjoyed seeing new cones scattered amongst cones of various ages, appearing on our only Banksia, the Silver Banksia Banksia marginata.
If you have been walking in the bush, especially with a dog, you may not have enjoyed the flowering of all the grasses, with their multitude of spiky seed heads, which happily attach to fabric and fur – it is no wonder they are so prolific. Unfortunately, so many of these are from introduced plants. Recognising the different indigenous species is a specialist art, but I always like the attractive, feathery flower-heads on the Spear-grasses Austrostipa, which glisten and sway in the summer sun and breezes.
A summer highlight is always the flowering of our iconic Moonah Melaleuca lanceolata, with its small, creamy-white, bottle-brush-like flowers. I wonder how showy they will be this year?
Recently I have been enjoying seeing the prolific flowering in the high country, including a relative of our Derwent Speedwell Derwentia derwentiana subsp. derwentiana.
I hope to get a chance to check out the river bank of Moggs Creek to see if this is in flower, with its dramatic terminal racemes of long, pendulous white flowers.
Finally, look out for seedpods and berries. Coastal Beard-heath Leucopogon parviflorus, a common coastal bush, of variable size, has inconspicuous small, white, sweet seeds.
In contrast, Prickly Currant-bush Coprosma quadrifida, a shrub found in moist forest/woodland has small, shiny, eye-catching red berries.
I always like to see the five-chambered pods on Prickly Teatree Leptospermum continentale.
Remember to take your Flowers of Anglesea and Aireys Inlet to aid in identification of these and other plants.
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