The bushland is still dressed in its springtime finery, and is beautiful to behold. The overall colours are rich, golden yellows, whites, blues and purple with occasional splashes of pink and red.

 

Here are a few specimens to look out for on your rambles.

 

1. Gompholobium ecostatum Dwarf Wedge-pea: A small, sprawling herb with bluish-green leaves divided into three, narrow leaflets, and which are sessile, or on a short stem. The flowers are orange to bright red, and there is an uncommon variety, which is yellow. The flowers are quite large compared to the small size of the plant, and can be solitary or paired. It has distinctive, large, globose pods, which are inflated and have numerous seeds. The red-flowered plant is also fondly known as Red-riding-hood Pea.

Dwarf Wedge-pea

2. Arthropodium strictum Chocolate Lily: This is a tall, slender perennial that grows in grass and woodlands, and has long, basal leaves. Single, mauve flowers are borne on branched, upright stems up to 1 metre. The three petals have wavy margins and are wider than the three sepals. The scent smells of chocolate. They are sometimes seen in large patches, making a very attractive display.

Chocolate Lily

3. Patersonia fragilis Short Purple-flag: This perennial herb is widespread throughout the sandy, coastal heathlands. the grey-green leaves, generally, are about 45 cm long, rigid, narrow and flat, but can be rounded too. In spring, the deep  purple flowers, with three, large petals are nestled in brown sheaths near the base of the leaves. Many flowers can be seen within a clump of leaves, and present a delightful surprise.

Short Purple-flag

4. Wahlenbergia stricta Tall Blue-bell: A tall, sprawling perennial herb up to 45 cm high, the Tall Bluebell is widespread and quite common, and is found in forest, grass and woodlands. The leaves are 5–7 cm long, and are low on the stem, with wavy, toothed margins. The blue flowers, have five petals up to 2 cm long.

Tall Blue-bell

5. Olearia teretifolia Cypress Daisy-bush: It is found on roadsides, heathland and open forest. This Daisy-bush has fine, narrow, resinous, bright-green leaves, 5 mm long, pressed against the stem. The flower-heads can be 10–15 mm across, and are numerous, sometimes almost covering the leaves. The flower has 4–10 white ray-florets, and 5–10 yellow, central, tubular florets. These flowers are spectacular en masse.

Cypress Daisy-bush

Philippa Hesterman

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