I really enjoy brisk June walks in amongst the moist, crisp, green vegetation, even though flowers are few.

However I am always greatly tempted to get down on my hands and knees and feel the soft, wet mosses and lichens, and examine closely the gorgeous array of fungi. This year I am wondering if the unseasonable, warm, dry period in May will maybe continue, and be a precursor to a warm dry winter; if so, lots of confused plants will flower early – who knows?

There are still areas of ‘May Magic’ around, plus the first of our wattles to flower. Sweet Wattle Acacia suaveolens has delicate, puffy, lemon balls, and an open look because of the long, widely spaced, bluish-green foliage.

Sweet Watle

I have been told, that if you look closely at the flower buds, they are quite a bright yellow. These brighten up our bush for a couple of months before the other wattles join them in flower in late winter.

Another sign of winter is the massive flocks of birds descending on the flowering Red Ironbarks Eucalyptus tricarpa, and showering their blossoms on the ground.

Ironbark flowers

These are usually yellow, but may be pale pink. I always thought they flowered in June, but in recent years I have seen them flowering anytime between April and August, each tree choosing its own time. The flowers are often in threes, hence the name tricarpa, but I have had trouble getting a close look at them in flower, and the ones I did see were in larger groups.

Pale pink floweres

In city areas, the most commonly planted Ironbark is the northern species E. sideroxylon, which has flowers in groups of seven, and these are often a colourful, rich pink.

Bright pink flowers

You may notice in the heathlands a modest compact shrub, Prickly Cryptandra Cryptandra tomentosa var 1, in flower.

Cryptandra

I find it interesting to see the tiny, white, tubular flowers change to pink as they age. I understand that when fresh they are highly scented. – I must smell them.

A plant that seems to have been in flower forever is Dusty Miller Spyridium parvifolium. The tiny, clustered flowers look quite inconspicuous in the centre of the white floral leaves which masquerade as petals.

Dusty Miller

Enjoy your brisk winter walks, look out for unusual flowers, and carry Flowers of Anglesea and Aireys Inlet.

Elllinor Campbell

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